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One of the most important areas of the federal special education law is transition. Transition generally means what happens to a special ed student after they leave school.
The GAO study finds inadequate coordination among the federal agencies charged with duties related to transition. You can see a summary of the highlights of the study here. Or here you can review the 71 page official report.
The following is a very brief summary of the law regarding transition:
The IDEA defines transition services as a coordinated set of activities designed to be a results oriented process that focuses upon the individual child’s needs, strengths and preferences. IDEA, § 602 (34). Not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16 years old and each year thereafter, the IDEA requires that the IEP contain measurable postsecondary goals; the transition services needed to achieve those goals; and beginning at one year before the child reaches the age of majority, a statement that the student has been informed regarding transfer of rights. IDEA § 614 (d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII). 34 C.F.R. § 300.43, 300.320(b)