Monday, October 31, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
The National Center on Education Statistics of the Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences this month issued a report on Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2013-2014 (FY 2014). The report includes a wealth of information of national and state expenditures on public education.
How much we spend on education is important. How does your state measure up?
Here are some highlights:
• The 50 states and the District of Columbia reported $623.2 billion in revenues collected for public elementary and secondary education in FY 14 (table 1). State and local governments provided $568.7 billion, or 91.3 percent of all revenues. The federal government contributed $54.5 billion, or 8.7 percent of all revenues (derived from table 1). Total revenues increased by 1.6 percent (from $613.2 to $623.2 billion) from FY 13 to FY 14, local revenues increased by 0.5 percent (from $279.0 to $280.5 billion), state revenues increased by 3.9 percent (from $277.5 to $288.2 billion), and federal revenues decreased by 3.9 percent (from $56.7 to $54.5 billion) (derived from tables 1 and 9, after adjusting for inflation).
• Total revenues per pupil averaged $12,460 on a national basis in FY 14 (table 2). This was an increase of 1.1 percent between FY 13 and FY 14, and reverses the decrease of 1.1 percent from FY 12 to FY 13. Total revenues per pupil increased by 1 percent or more in 20 states from FY 13 to FY 14. Total revenues per pupil remained relatively level in 25 states and the District of Columbia between FY 13 and FY 14, with an increase or decrease of less than 1 percent. Total revenues per pupil decreased by 1 percent or more in 5 states between FY 13 and FY 14 (table 2, after adjusting for inflation).
• Current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education across the nation increased by 1.7 percent from FY 13 to FY 14 (from $544.2 to $553.5 billion) (derived from tables 3 and 9, after adjusting for inflation). Expenditures for instruction also increased by 1.7 percent in FY 14 compared to FY 13, while total support services expenditures increased by 1.8 percent, and student support expenditures increased by 1.2 percent (derived from tables 3 and 9, after adjusting for inflation).
• In FY 14, salaries and wages ($318.7 billion) in conjunction with employee benefits ($123.6 billion), accounted for 79.9 percent ($442.4 billion) of current expenditures ($553.5 billion) for public elementary and secondary education (derived from table 4).
• Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary education were $11,066 at the national level in FY 14, which represents an increase of 1.2 percent from FY 13 (tables 5 and 9, after adjusting for inflation). Current expenditures per pupil ranged from $6,546 in Utah to $20,577 in the District of Columbia. Current expenditures per pupil were at least 40 percent higher than the national average in New York ($20,156), New Jersey ($18,780), Alaska ($18,466), Connecticut ($18,401), Vermont ($18,066), Wyoming ($15,903), and Massachusetts ($15,886) (table 5 and figure 1).
• Current expenditures per pupil increased by 1 percent or more in 25 states between FY 13 and FY 14 (table 6, after adjusting for inflation). Current expenditures per pupil increases were highest in Connecticut (4.6 percent), Illinois (4.6 percent), and Washington (4.4 percent) from FY 13 to FY 14. Current expenditures per pupil decreased by 1 percent or more in 5 states between FY 13 and FY 14, compared to the decrease by 1 percent or more in 19 states between FY 12 and FY 13 (table 6).• Total expenditures increased by 1.4 percent (from $616.3 to $625.0 billion) between FY 13 and FY 14 (derived from tables 7 and 9, after adjusting for inflation). Between FY 13 and FY 14, expenditures for construction decreased by 1.2 percent (from $34.2 to $33.8 billion); expenditures for land and existing structures decreased by 0.1 percent (from $3.242 to $3.239 billion); expenditures for equipment increased by 4.7 percent (from $9.0 to $9.4 billion); and expenditures for interest on the debt decreased by 2.2 percent (from $17.5 to $17.2 billion) (derived from tables 7 and 9, after adjusting for inflation).
• Title I expenditures (including carry-over expenditures) accounted for $14.1 billion, or 2.5 percent of current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education at the national level in FY 14 (derived from table 8). Title I expenditures (including carry-over expenditures) accounted for between 4 and 5 percent of current expenditures in North Carolina (4.6 percent) and in Mississippi (4.3 percent), and for 3 percent or more of current expenditures in another 14 states (table 8).
You can read the entire 48 page report here.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
This is the sixth installment in a multi-part series on procedural safeguards under the federal special education law, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. I work a lot in this area, so it is near and dear to my heart. Despite the importance of procedural safeguards. however, many issues in this area are misunderstood. I hope that all of the different types of special education stakeholders who read this blog find the information in this series helpful. Be sure to tell me what you think about the series.
There are four dispute resolution mechanisms provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq, (hereafter sometimes referred to as “IDEA”) and the accompanying federal regulations: mediation, state complaints, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. In addition, some states and districts are experimenting with fifth method-facilitated IEP meetings.
Special education disputes may be resolved through any of the five methods or by any combination of the methods. It is highly unusual under the law for an aggrieved party to be permitted to invoke more than one resolution option. Although mediation is often used in combination with litigation, it is rare for other formal methods to be combined. An unhappy party could file a state complaint wait for the results and then file a due process hearing over the same dispute. The same dispute can be submitted at any time in the process to mediation. A resolution session occurs in every due process filed by a parent unless waived or submitted to mediation in lieu thereof. It is true that if the complaint and due process are filed at the same time, the portions of the state complaint duplicating the due process complaint are held in abeyance until resolution of the due process, but if they are not filed at the same time, there is no prohibition upon the utilization of multiple methods.
Adding to the frustration of this lack of finality is the fact that the result of most of the options may also be appealed to one or more levels of the court system. The U. S. Supreme Court has noted that the judicial review process for special education cases takes a long time, referring to the appellate process as “ponderous.” Town of Burlington v. Dept of Educ 471 U.S. 358, 105 S.Ct. 1996, 556 IDELR 389 (1985).
CADRE is the technical assistance agency for dispute resolution in special education. Here is their website. There are numerous helpful resources concerning this topic on this website.
This link is to the NICHCY Training Program – Module 18: Options for Dispute Resolution:
Here is the OSEP Questions and Answers (Document) On Procedural Safeguards and Due Process Procedures For Parents and Children With Disabilities:
Monday, October 24, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
I fly around the country a good bit for work. Just enough to have plenty of Transportation Security Administration stories, and enough miles on a number of airlines to not quite qualify for free travel.
The first step in modern air travel is going through security. This is not a skill that I have mastered. Many of my fellow travelers seem to be quite comfortable removing shoes, and cellphones, and in placing the laptop n a separate bin. This is followed by being x-rayed in a giant tube and then looked over by TSA personnel. (Why do they always think that I have metal in my forearms? Am I related to Wolverine? Do they just need an excuse to pat me down?). Then after the security screening, you have to put yourself back together. Don't get me wrong, I see why security is necessary; I'm just not good at getting through the line quickly.
So a few weeks ago, I'm deftly going through security and the TSA person asks if this is my suitcase. I say yes. She says may I inspect it, and I say yes. Then she asks the million dollar question: do you have anything sharp in the suitcase? I think for a minute and say I have a safety razor, but that's all I can come up with. She opens it up and goes to my travel kit, which includes a little box with nail clippers and related items. Inside is a small device with three "blades:" a nail file, a bottle opener and a small cuticle knife with a blade of about maybe half an inch. She confiscated it, and disposed of it. I asked if it could at least be donated to charity, but apparently there is some federal regulation that prohibits arming the poor!
The amazing thing about this incident is that I have been travelling with this kit for over twenty years. I have been on hundreds of flights armed with a "knife." The other bummer is that this kit was a gift; it has sentimental value. Another causality in the war against ... But if my suitcase has been truly unsafe for over twenty years, why did it take TSA so long to find me out? Flying safely through the air????? Yikes.
Friday, October 14, 2016
This is the fifth installment in a multi-part series on procedural safeguards under the federal special education law, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. I work a lot in this area, so it is near and dear to my heart. Despite the importance of procedural safeguards. however, many issues in this area are misunderstood. I hope that all of the different types of special education stakeholders who read this blog find the information in this series helpful. Be sure to tell me what you think about the series.
Prior Written Notice
A school district must provide prior written notice to the parents whenever it proposes to, or refuses to, initiate or change the: identification, evaluation, placement, or FAPE. IDEASection 615(b)(3). See 34 CFR Section 300.503(a). The notice must contain the following: a description of the action; an explanation of why the district proposes or refuses the action; a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record or report relied upon; a statement that the parents have protections under the procedural safeguards; sources for the parents to contact to obtain assistance; a description of other options considered and why they were rejected; and a description of the factors that are relevant to the district’s proposal or refusal. IDEA Section 615(c)(1). See 34 CFR Section 300.503(b).
“Prior” written notice is an unfortunate choice of words. This does not mean that the notice must be given before the decision is made. Indeed, OSEP has pointed out that the notice must be given a reasonable amount of time before the school district implements the proposal, or refusal, described in the notice. The proposal triggers an obligation to convene an IEP team meeting, but providing prior written notice before the meeting could suggest that the district’s action was made without parent input and participation. 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46690 (August 14, 2006).
OSEP has published a model form for prior written notice consistent with current statutory and regulatory requirements. The model form is available on their website
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Last month, OSERS released guidance on the rights of children with disabilities who attend virtual schools. According to the Department,