Re: [nyceducationnews] Fwd: On Special Education-RTI Can't Delay Special Education Evaluations, Feds Say
NYC DOE is trying to basically get all kids (ELLs; special ed.) into their "neighborhood" schools (assuming they have any). However, this decision will rest with the Committee on Special Education and parents will be part of the decisionmaking group. If parents disagree w/the CSE decision, they can do hearings to get more appropriate placements. And I assume there will be some class litigation against the NYC DOE's new special ed. model ... presumably starting in a few months, 'tho I could be wrong.
The NYC DOE is probably trying to cut down on special ed. minivans because of a False Claims Act suit, settled 2009, against NYS and NYC on account of massive school Medicaid fraud. A lot of that fraud involved the NYC DOE and special ed. transportation. So requirements from HHS re Medicaid claiming will now be strictly enforced and followed by the NYC DOE ... or else. There is outside, independent monitoring of NYSED and the NYC DOE re school Medicaid claiming for another 2 years or so under that consent decree and an accompanying Program Integrity Agreement. However, if a kid needs a special ed. minivan, no matter what school s/he attends, s/he will be eligible for it.
The real issue here is that the NYC DOE has been hit for many years by US DOE because it over-segregates disabled kids in separate, special ed. schools including those run by D. 75 as well as in district-operated, segregated all-special ed. classes. The NYC DOE's solution to this was CTT classes, but it funded them heavily with ARRA $ which is running out at the end of the current school year. Ergo the current "pilot" on just having most disabled kids attend their local neighborhood schools (assuming they have any).
On 1/31/2011 11:49 PM, Harvey Beringer wrote:
Do you know anything about the DOE discontinuing busing for special ed children.Â I have heard that starting in Sept., special education children can only go to their neighborhood school and parents wll have to provide transportation if they want them to go to another school in their district.Â
Finally, some needed and sensible guidance for state and local public education officials from the federal Office of Special Education Programs...
...[T]he feds are reiterating that RTI can be part of a comprehensive evaluation process for a student, but cannot be the entire process in itself.[...] Using an RTI process as a method of identifying children for learning disabilities has already been protested by some parents, as these 2007 articles in The Washington Post and the The Wall Street Journal show.
Special Education Advocate
-------- Original Message --------
On Special Education
Tue, 01 Feb 2011 01:11:02 +0000
On Special Education <webeditors@...>
Posted: 31 Jan 2011 02:16 PM PST
The federal Office of Special Education Programs released a memo earlier this month reminding states that a response-to-intervention process cannot delay the initial evaluation for special education services of a child suspected of having a disability.
The memo, dated Jan. 21, was posted on the website of the federally-funded National Center for Response to Intervention last week.
Response to intervention is an educational framework based on universal screening of all students, then increasingly targeted and intensive lessons, or "interventions," to students based on identified areas of weakness. Students are then monitored closely for their response to those interventions.
Federal regulations require that states allow RTI to be used as part of the criteria for determining if students have a specific learning disability. In this memo, the feds are reiterating that RTI can be part of a comprehensive evaluation process for a student, but cannot be the entire process in itself. The January memo references an earlier letter to Lehigh University professor Perry A. Zirkel, which states, "An RTI process does not replace the need for a comprehensive evaluation, and the results of an RTI process may be one component of the information reviewed as part of the evaluation procedures required" under federal policy.
The January memo also refers to other "informal guidance" letters from the department, which you can search for easily at this link.
Using an RTI process as a method of identifying children for learning disabilities has already been protested by some parents, as these 2007 articles in The Washington Post and the The Wall Street Journal show.
But I can also see the challenge for states and districts. States must permit the use of response to intervention as part of an evaluation process, and a response to intervention requires some time, if only to see if the intensive lessons are actually working for a struggling student. But districts also cannot delay evaluation, or they risk a due process hearing. What do readers think: Will this guidance make the process easier to navigate for parents as well as schools and states?
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