In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapters 14 and 15 of the State Board Regulations, PDE provides general supervision over all public schools, school districts, and other public education agencies within the state to ensure that each student with a disability receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and that each family has the benefits of a system of procedural safeguards. To fulfill this responsibility, the Bureau of Special Education (BSE):
- Requires each school district and intermediate unit to submit a Special Education Plan and applications for Federal Funds which meet requirements of Federal and State regulations;
- Conducts Compliance Monitoring for Continuous Improvement (CMCI) of school districts, charter schools, and early intervention programs to ensure compliance with applicable regulations;
- Cyclical Monitoring is conducted every six years among all public school districts and charter schools;
- Focused Monitoring may be conducted annually among school districts and charter schools whose data does not meet established accountability benchmarks;
- Targeted Monitoring may be conducted among school districts and charter schools where particular compliance issues are noted requiring closer review;
- In accordance with the Gaskin Settlement Agreement Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Monitoring will be conducted among school districts that are the lowest ranking in the state in including special education students in regular education classrooms for all or part of the school day;
- Following monitoring visits, PDE sends reports to the school districts detailing results. The school district must correct any difficulties that are present. BSE staff verifies the school districts' corrective actions.
- Provides State complaint resolution Procedures wherein anyone can file a complaint of non-compliance that may result in an investigation and follow-up corrective action;
- The Special Education ConsultLine is a toll-free service that provides information to families, organizations, and legislative staff with regulations, and information about special education programs and policy. CONSULTLINE
- The Call Resolution Process is provided by ConsultLine to expedite solving communication issues between school districts and parents of eligible students. The Call Resolution Process or CRP has been highly effective in bringing a speedy resolution to issues.
- The Office for Dispute Resolution coordinates and manages ConsultLine, IEP Facilitations,special education mediation and due process hearing system. ODR also provides help with procedural safeguards to parents, advocates, school districts, and intermediate units.
- Provides Training and Technical Assistance throughout the state to address current and projected special education and related services personnel needs, coordinating and facilitating efforts among school districts, intermediate units, institutions of higher education, service providers of early intervention, and various state agencies to recruit, prepare and retain qualified personnel, including personnel from minority backgrounds, and personnel with disabilities. Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
- Provides interagency coordination to students with disabilities whose school districts have determined that they cannot be appropriately educated in a public educational setting and who have waited more than 30 days for the provision of an appropriate educational placement. This system is also aimed at providing assistance to students who are at substantial risk of waiting more than 30 days for an appropriate educational placement. Intensive Interagency Coordination