Accountability, Grants and Funding
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004, districts and charters have an obligation to ensure that all students with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs, and prepares them for further education, employment, and independent living. Districts and charters must ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their families are protected.
The federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is responsible for ensuring states' compliance with IDEA. OSEP has developed a continuous improvement monitoring process that includes compliance and fiscal oversight.
The Delaware Department of Education's Exceptional Children Resources workgroup has the responsibility of assisting districts, charters, educational service agencies, and public agencies as they provide for the education of all students with disabilities by:
- Assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities, and
- Ensuring compliance with state and federal laws concerning the education of children with disabilities. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1400(d) ; 14 Del.C. §3110 ; 10 DE Reg. 1816 )
In addition, the workgroup provides grant and funding information to support districts and charters in supporting this mission.
How is your district or charter performing in special education?
Compliance Monitoring is a process at the local level to ensure that districts and charters are following the federal IDEA and all State of Delaware requirements regarding students with disabilities. Any noncompliance is addressed by the state through technical assistance, additional supports and oversight.
An outline of Delaware's Compliance Monitoring process presented at a May 14, 2012 Leadership Meeting. Updated May 2014.
Includes Evaluations, Eligibility Determination, Individualized Education Programs and Procedural Safeguards for districts and charters. Ensures compliance with IDEA and eligibility for assistance under IDEA. Proper documentation must be on file regarding FAPE and provisions of IDEA for students with disabilities.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs):
Fiscal Monitoring is a process at the local level to ensure that district and charter spending on students with disabilities following the federal IDEA and all State of Delaware requirements. Any noncompliance is addressed by the state through technical assistance, additional supports and oversight.
- Time and Effort Protocol
Outlines the documentation that districts and charters are required keep on file for all employees compensated with Federal funds. The required documentation is dependent on the percentage of time an employee is expected to spend on a Federal award or cost objective.
Records must be maintained for equipment purchased with federal funds, and a physical inventory must be conducted at least every two years.
- Maintenance of Fiscal Effort (MOE) Protocol
Funds provided to a district or charter under Part B of the IDEA must not be used to reduce the level of expenditures for the education of students with disabilities made from local funds below the level of those expenditures for the preceding fiscal year.
Grants and Funding
IDEA funds may only be used to pay the excess costs of providing special education and related services for children with disabilities ( 34 CFR §300.202(a)(2) ). Excess costs are those costs for the education of an elementary school or secondary school student with a disability that are in excess of the district or charter's average annual per pupil expenditure (A-PP-E) during the preceding school year.
Each LEA must expend, on the provision of special education and related services for the parentally placed private school children with disabilities enrolled in private schools located in the LEA, a proportionate share of the LEAs subgrants under §611.
Expenditure of Funds
Each LEA’s Annual Budget Report must document that IDEA funds were spent in accordance with those budgeted for in the Consolidated Grant.
Each LEA must follow what is outlined in the General Accounting and Financial Records Retention Schedule, all State Agencies and Divisions, which is posted through Delaware Public Archives. This policy outlines the creation and maintenance of a system of internal controls for organizational operations to ensure effective and efficient fiscal monitoring practices are implemented and consistently followed.
- IDEA Part B Application
Procedures guiding the administration and verification of the annual unit count for students with disabilities.
- Consolidated Grant Application
The purpose of the Consolidated Grant Application process is to leverage resources across programs to ensure that all children have an opportunity to meet state academic achievement standards. This eliminates the need for districts and charters to submit multiple plans, making the application process more efficient for applicants.
Consolidated Grant Approval Checklist
Outlines how each district and charter school is reviewed for the Consolidated Grant in 2019-2020 school year.
For more information on district and charter accountability and funding for students with disabilities, contact Exceptional Children Resources at 302-735-4210.
- Private School Students: US Ed Guidance
Explains the benefits available to children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools, including religious schools. In IDEA, these children are referred to as “parentally placed private school children” with disabilities, and the benefits available to them differ from the benefits for children with disabilities in public schools.