BSE Sends Indicator 13 Memo to LEAs (June 9, 2024)

On June 5, 2024, Bureau of Special Education (BSE) Director Carole L. Clancy sent a PennLink memo to LEAs titled Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring – A Focus on Secondary Transition (Indicator 13). The memo states that in response to the accountability requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 Part B State Performance Plans, the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and intermediate unit transition consultants will provide sustained professional development for targeted local educational agencies (LEAs). This targeted professional development will assist with creating compliant and effective individualized secondary transition programming for students with disabilities.

The requirements for each LEA assigned to the 2024-2025 Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring: A Focus on Secondary Transition training are as follows:
-Develop an administrative team to support the targeted training and technical assistance process. The administrative team is required to attend a webinar on September 12, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Administrative team members will need to register in advance for this training at www.pattan.net, or by following this link: https://www.pattan.net/Events/Webinar/Course-2919/Events/Session-39593
-Lead contact person to complete an interview/survey regarding effective practices for secondary transition as facilitated by an intermediate unit and/or PaTTAN consultant. Lead contact will work with IU Transition TaC/PaTTAN Consultant to develop and implement a local training plan for the 2024-2025 school year.
-With support from the IU Transition TaC/PaTTAN Consultant, identify targeted staff (i.e. special education directors, building principals, transition coordinators, special education teachers, speech/language therapists, guidance counselors, school psychologists, career tech ed staff, and other LEA staff involved in secondary programming) to participate in IEP pre-reviews using the PA Indicator 13 checklist, complete IEP post-reviews, participate in coaching activities as warranted with IU Transition TaC, and complete an online (Schoology) course.

The required online (Schoology) course will yield 6 Act 48 hours and must be completed by February 28, 2025. PLEASE NOTE: All staff must register for the Schoology course. Registration can be found at www.pattan.net, or by following the link: https://www.pattan.net/Events/On-line-Courses/Course-2920/Events/Session-39737.

The registration key to register for the Schoology course is IND13-2024. This registration key must be shared with all LEA staff members identified to participate in this year’s cyclical monitoring preparation activities so they can complete the registration process. For questions concerning Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring: A Focus on Secondary Transition training for 2024-2025, please contact one of these PaTTAN Educational Consultants: Darla Bryant [email protected] or Tim Knight [email protected].

BSE Sends July 2024 Special Education Table 8A Submission Reminder (June 8, 2024)

According to a June 7, 2024 PennLink memo from BSE Director Carole L. Clancy titled July 2024 Special Education Table 8A Submission, in July 2024 Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) assigned to this year’s reporting cohort will submit their data for Special Education Table 8A, Report of Children with Disabilities Evaluated July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.

Table 8A data is collected on a cyclical basis. Those LEAs that are to submit Table 8A to the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) will be informed of such in June this year. Regardless of their reporting status, all LEAs in the state must continue to collect and maintain data regarding timely evaluations so that the LEA can assess its on-going compliance and program effectiveness and be prepared to report data to the state when notified to do so.

Table 8A is used for two purposes:

  1. To calculate and report to the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) an annual state rate of compliance with timelines for completing initial evaluations of students to determine their eligibility for special education under the State Performance Plan; and
  1. To report to the public on the performance of LEAs in the commonwealth in complying with the required timelines.

Data collected over the past several years on compliance with timelines for initial evaluations show that while many LEAs have achieved full compliance, others have not. When LEAs do not comply and improve performance, the overall state rate reported to OSEP is negatively affected. Further, any LEA that reports less than 100 percent compliance with timelines will be required to engage in quarterly reporting to the BSE to document correction of noncompliance. Therefore, it is imperative that all LEAs be as accurate as possible in collecting and reporting Table 8A data.

OSEP has advised that states should factor out from their Table 8A calculation those students whose evaluation timelines are affected by two exceptions in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regulations. Specifically, Section 300.301(d) allows that the 60-day timeline for completing initial evaluations does not apply to a public agency if (1) the parent of a child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluation, or (2) a child enrolls in a school of another agency after the timeline has begun and prior to a determination by the prior agency as to whether the child is a child with a disability. This second exception applies only if the subsequent public agency is making sufficient progress to ensure prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent and subsequent agency agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed. To ensure accurate reporting, it is critical that when a delay in meeting timelines occurs, LEAs must correctly code the reasons for the delay in accordance with the exceptions above.

The Table 8A Template for the July 2024 submission is available on the Special Education Data Reporting website at https://penndata.hbg.psu.edu under the Data Management tab in the 2023-2024 section; scroll down to Table 8A Template.

Questions regarding completion and submission of Table 8A should be referred to the Intermediate Unit Data Manager. Questions regarding this Penn*Link may be referred to Jodi Rissinger in the BSE at [email protected].

Bipartisan Passage Of Bill To Make Free Menstrual Hygiene Products Available For Students (June 6, 2024)

On June 4, 2024, House Bill 851 was approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a result of a bipartisan vote. The bill would make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost in Pennsylvania schools so students can have peace of mind to focus on academic learning, school attendance, and their health.

Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal calls for $3 million to provide menstrual hygiene products in schools to help close a gap in women’s health care that too often hurts low-income girls and young women of color. The funding will enable schools to provide access to period products at no cost to students and complements the efforts undertaken by the Shapiro Administration to improve health equity in Pennsylvania.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. “In 2021, two in five people struggled to purchase period products, an increase of 35% from 2018. Individuals that cannot afford period products can be found using newspapers, rags, and socks instead of pads, pantiliners, or tampons, leading to health problems. Further, period poverty disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities: nearly a quarter of menstruating individuals within these communities struggled to afford period products in 2021,” said Representatives Parker and Hill-Evans in the bill’s cosponsorship memo.

PDE Notifies LEAs of Online Availability for Public Review of 2022-23 Special Ed. Data Reports (June 1, 2024)

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA), every state must report annually to the public on the performance of each local educational agency (LEA) on the targets established in the State Performance Plan. This year states are required to report 2022-23 performance on the following State Performance Plan indicators for school-age students with disabilities: Graduation Rates; Dropout Rates; Participation and Performance on Statewide Assessments; Suspension Rates; Educational Environments; School-Facilitated Parent Involvement; Disproportionate Representation by Race/Ethnicity Receiving Special Education; Disproportionate Representation by Race/Ethnicity in Specific Disability Categories; Timelines for Initial Evaluation; Individual Education Program Secondary Transition Goals and Services; and Post-School Outcomes.

At the beginning of May, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) provided LEAs with an opportunity to preview these reports prior to going live to the public. The reports are now posted and available for public review at the Special Education Data Reporting (formerly PennData) website, (https://penndata.hbg.psu.edu/Public-Reporting/SEDR-Report-Dashboard).

Viewers can select their LEA from the drop-down list.

Gov. Shapiro’s Proposed Budget Investment in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Services, Workforce Receives Bipartisan Support (May 31, 2024)

On May 30, 2024, PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh and a bipartisan group of state legislators visited Barber National Institute in Erie to talk about the need for historic investments in Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 proposed budget, which would increase the number of Pennsylvanians who can access intellectual disability and autism (ID/A) services, and support the professionals who care for Pennsylvanians with ID/A.

Republican and Democratic members of the General Assembly joined Secretary Arkoosh for the event, with legislators calling the Governor’s proposed investment “a no-brainer.”

Read the full article below:
Erie-Times News: Pa. budget idea would help those with autism, intellectual disabilities