Tips and Tools Print E-mail

TIP 1: Learn the RATING that your local school district received on its Annual Performance Report (APR) data based on your State Performance Report (SPP) for the year impacting the Recovery Act funds. It's an important piece of information because the RATING determines if the district is eligible to reduce its local level of expenditures on special education as allowed by IDEA when there is an increase in non-local funds from one fiscal year to the next. Unfortunately, most states did not post these important RATINGS for local school districts on their state dept. of education websites.

TOOL 1:  Most states are not posting the RATINGS that have been determined for each of the local school districts. So IDEA Money Watch obtained the LEA ratings from all 50 states and posted them to our state blogs. Visit your state blog and click on "LEA Ratings" under Pages on the left-hand side of the blog. Use this information to determine if your local school district (LEA) was allowed to reduce its spending of local funds for special education in light of the IDEA Recovery Act funding.

TIP 2:  Understand the ins and outs of the regular FY09 IDEA funds and the one-time IDEA ARRA funds provided to states and local school districts. Use the tool below.

TOOL 2: We've put together a nifty side-by-side comparison chart as a quick reference on varies provisions that apply to each allocation of IDEA Part B funds (Section 611, School age children). Find it here. (PDF, 2 pgs.)

TIP 3: Look to your school district's performance on the 20 indicators that make up the State Performance Plan (SPP) for information and guidance on how to allocate IDEA ARRA funds for maximum impact. Exploring relationships between indicators and identifying patterns in outcomes can further assist in targeting funds to improve results. 

TOOL 3: Explore this online guide - Making Connections Across Indicators to Improve Post-School Outcomes: Early State Efforts - for lots of helpful information on how to collect and analyze data on the relationships of Indicators 1 (graduation), 2 (dropout), 13 (secondary transitions), and 14 (post-school outcomes). A publication of the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD) and the National Post-School Outcomes Center (NPSO) University of Oregon.