Fourth-fifths of the states are falling short of federal requirements for educating students with disabilities, the Education Department says.
The states got their first federal report cards this week, judging them on how well they are implementing the nation's main special education law. The state-by-state results were posted on the Education Department's Web site Wednesday.
The requirements are outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as the law is called. The largest part of the act is a $10.5 billion program providing students aged 3 to 21 with specialized programs to fit their educational needs.
Only nine states were found to be fully meeting the requirements of that part of the program. Those states are: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.
The rest of the states were labeled as "needs assistance" or, worse, "needs intervention." If they don't improve within a few years, they could face sanctions such as the loss of federal aid.
U.S. Department of Education Determination Letters on State Implementation of the IDEA
Part B State Performance Plans (SPP) Letters and Annual Performance Report
This from the Bellingham Herald (AP).