HARRISBURG-Pennsylvaniahas met the highest level rating possible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the U.S. Department of Education has determined.
This year marks the fifth time in the past six years the state has received this rating.
Under law, the U.S. Secretary of Education must make an annual determination whether each state is adhering to the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The four required categories include: whether the state met the requirements and purposes of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; whether the state needed assistance in implementing those requirements; whether the state needed intervention in implementing those requirements; and whether the state needed substantial intervention in implementing the requirements.
Each category provides various actions that the U.S. Department of Education must impose on states, ranging from positive recognition for meeting the requirements to enforcement measures that could result in the loss of federal funds.
Among the seven-largest states ranked by the number of students with disabilities, this year,Pennsylvaniais the only large state to achieve the “meets requirements” status for five of the past six years, as well as one of 14 states to receive this determination.
Specifically,Pennsylvania’s Department of Education meets the requirements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s Part B, which is assistance for educating all children with disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 21. The U.S. Department of Education began evaluating states in 2007.
In making the determination, the U.S. Department of Education considers each state’s annual performance report, performance plan, information obtained through federal monitoring visits, as well as other public information.