PDE Memo Informs LEAs of Surveys (June 11, 2021)

On June 11, 2021, BSE Director Carole L. Clancy sent a PennLink titled Survey of Parents of Students with Disabilities. That memo states that Pennsylvania’s State Performance Plan requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 include collecting and reporting data on the involvement of families in special education programs. Specifically, states must report annually to the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the public on State Performance Plan Indicator 8 which is the “percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.”

Like many other states, Pennsylvania is collecting this data through a large-scale survey. Pennsylvania reports results of the survey to OSEP in its State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report. This report is posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) websites. Reporting on local educational agency (LEA) performance is done through the Special Education Data Reports on the PennData website.

To ensure that parents from every LEA in the commonwealth are included in the survey, PDE developed a sampling plan that was approved by OSEP. Under this sampling, each year PDE collects data from a representative sample of parents in approximately one-fifth of the LEAs. The LEAs in this year’s sample are listed below. Parents receiving the survey were selected from PennData using a stratified random sample of school age students in each LEA. Surveys will be mailed directly to the parents from Leader Services in the next few weeks.

The survey being used was developed by the National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring under a grant awarded to that center by OSEP. The survey can be viewed at Leader Services-Parent Survey. Additional information about the survey can be found on the PaTTAN website at PA Indicator 8 Information.

A letter that accompanies the survey assures parents that their responses will be confidential. Parents may direct questions about the survey to the Special Education Consult Line at 800-879-2301. Should parents contact LEA personnel about the survey, we ask that your staff encourage them to participate in the survey process.

Questions regarding this Penn*Link may be addressed to Barbara Mozina, Special Education Adviser, at bmozina@pa.gov.