In June, 2014 the U.S.DOE increased reporting requirements for students with disabilities programs. Both program procedures, such as meeting evaluation timelines as well as student outcome data are now required for federal funding. The U.S.DOE estimates that only 18 states and territories will meet the new standards; 41 states and territories met previous standards. California, Texas and Delaware are in the lowest compliance level.
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Data such as graduation and suspension rates as well as state assessment scores will be used for Individuals with Disability Act (IDEA) grants. Federal programs provide $11.5 billion in grants to states that in 2010 served 6,614,000 children.
This change in assessment policy can have a big impact. Title I Part A regulations have been amended, and alternative ESEA standards and assessments based on disabilities with be phased out. The acting Assistant Secretary of Special Education stated that less than 10% of 8th graders with IEPs were proficient in reading. In his announcement of the new requirements, Secretary Arne Duncan said “We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the support and services they need to succeed”.