Welcome to IDEA Money Watch for Virginia

Virginia will receive $281,415,033 in IDEA Part B Recovery Funds to improve services to its 151,651 school age students with disabilities.

The Virginia DOE has provided its school districts with guidance on use of these funds.

Give us your comments here.

5 Responses to “Welcome to IDEA Money Watch for Virginia”

  1. Advocate says:

    I have attend two school board meetings in which information has been presented to board about the use of this money. I will continue to monitor this process and provide information on the boards use of funds.

    Are there specific concerns to be on the outlook for?

  2. Watchdogs says:

    Yes … there are very specific concerns…most importantly, LEAs planning to utilize their option under IDEA to reduce their local level of effort by up to 50% of any increase in non-local funds from one year to the next MUST have a “meets requirements” rating from the state DOE in order to do so.

    Virginia LEA ratings are available on the Va DOE Website.


  3. sped 101 says:

    HI All, This is a good idea to watch how this money will be spent. It would be helpful if local sped advocates also attended a few school board meetings and speak at the public comment period for such issues as ‘developmental delay teachers, staff and classrooms’. Since the age cutoff has been reduced :( ((((( to age 6 :( ((((( by the VA sped regs, :( (((((( (Wisconsin was so wonderful bc their Dept of Public Instruction took the high road and extended their DD age range to age 9 as IDEA permitted)., Directors of Sped, Superintendents, and school bd members may get it into their heads that they will delete these teachers out of their line item budget, either by RIF-ing the teachers or re-assigning them to jobs no one wants in the school system so they jump ship to a more progressive system. The progressive school systems know to convert any of these DD teachers to positions such as Inclusion Specialists or RTI-Response to Intervention teachers so that these former DD teachers can support student access to the high expectations general ed curriculum.

    Also some VA Superintendents do not believe in using the stimulus monies to help with teacher salaries since they don’t think the monies will be around in two years. So they’re putting it into Professional Development. For some burned out, ineffective teachers, this PD needs to be mandated. The burned out teachers do everything possible to avoid attending PD. When they do show up, they sit in the back of the room off task, distracting the other participants who want to be there, with their off topic conversations, blatently reading Cosmo or People Mag to show that they don’t want to be there. yet these are the same ones who escalate a student with significant autism into a ‘meltdown’ bc they don’t understand that their loud, directive, harsh voice inflections, flourescent lighting, etc are irritating the that student’s sensory system. these are the types that need a pre-test to judge their knowledge and then when they don’t pass it, they get to take the class in Sensory Systems 101. So it’s Ok that stim monies go to PD. But we need some accountability here thru pre- and post-test measures that staff members are mandated to take it. It could be as simple as a PD team, with experienced speds’ input, develop a PD plan of what each sped needs to know in order to function as an effective sped in that system and within that grade level, such as competence and skilled use of data collection to note weekly progress in students who show very subtle gains (rather than dismiss them out of related services because they’ve ‘plateaued’), sensory integration, sensory input (that when a student chroinically escalates is it bc he actually seeks that deep pressure input he gets from being ‘mandted’ in a hold by the sped teacher? or that his stomach punches to peers in that segregated sped room increase when she shouts at him to get his ‘hands down’ bc that shout alerts his low tone sensory system and he likes that?)

    Experienced sped teachers, just like experienced doctors who know there are colleagues bordering on incompetence in their practice, note that there are ‘rotten apples’ in the field who may be rotting bc they’re tired and burned out and think of PD as a waste of their time since they know it all. These burned out speds have the attitudes of ‘old dogs who can’t learn any new tricks’. They won’t leave the profession bc they need the money and will hang in there until retirement. So their PD needs to be planned and systematic and accountable and not left up to their choice. so those stim monies would be well spent on PD but only if there are data measures in there for accountability that the teachers have learned new material

  4. Wondering says:

    To what extent can IDEA and stimulus dollars be used for targeted Gen Ed populations?

  5. VAwatchdog says:

    IDEA Part B funds — both regular annual federal funds appropriated by Congress and the supplemental IDEA Part B funds included in the Recovery Act – may only be used to pay for the excess cost of special education. One exception exists — the provision in IDEA called “Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) which allows district to use up to 15% of Part B funds for services to students not eligible for IDEA but who show signs of struggle in general education. The provision is described here. When district use funds under the CEIS provision, the district’s maximum allowable reduction to local funds spent on special education when an increase in non-local funds occurs is reduced by the amount used for CEIS.

    IDEA Money Watch

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