For Immediate Release                                                                                                                   
June 12, 2009

Illinois Receives Determination Letter on Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

State meets many benchmarks

SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois State Board of Education received its determination letter on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Department’s determination is based on the totality of the state’s data and information, including the state’s FFY 2007 Annual Performance Report (APR) and the revised State Performance Plan (SPP), other state-reported data, and publicly available information.

In the determination letter from the USED’s Office of Special Education Program (OSEP), Illinois was commended for achieving levels of compliance for Indicators 9 (disproportionate representation in special education), 10 (disproportionate representation in specific disability categories), 11 (child find timelines), 12 (early childhood transition), 16 (compliant timelines) and 20 (timely and valid data submissions).

Illinois was placed in the “needs assistance” category with several other states.

Factors affecting the determination for Illinois included the state:

  1. Reported 69% compliance for Indicator 13 (secondary transition), with progress from 24.3% reported the previous year.
  2. Reported 76.23% compliance for Indicator 15 (timely correction of noncompliance), with slippage from 92.4% reported the previous year.
  3. Reported 92.6% compliance for Indicator 17 (due process hearing timelines), with slippage from 93.1% reported the previous year.

Illinois’ determinations for the FFY 2005 and 2006 APRs were also “needs assistance.” In accordance with section 616(e)(1) of the IDEA and 34 CFR 300.604, if a state is categorized as ``need assistance’’ for two consecutive years, the Secretary must take one or more of the following actions:

  1. Advise the state of available sources of technical assistance that may help the state address the areas in which the state needs assistance.
  2. Direct the use of state-level funds on the area or areas in which the state needs assistance.
  3. Identify the state as a high-risk grantee and impose special conditions on the state’s Part B grant award.

Pursuant to these requirements, the Secretary has advised the state of available sources of technical assistance related to Indicator 13 (secondary transition), Indicator 15 (timely correction of noncompliance) and Indicator 17 (due process hearing timelines).

Ilinois must report in its FFY 2008 APR submission on technical assistance sources from which the state received assistance as well as report to OSEP by October 1, 2009 regarding how the technical assistance selected by the state is addressing the factors contributing to the ongoing noncompliance.