All districts and educational cooperatives were notified on January 22, 2019 that the Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS), will no longer be accepting federal Title VI-B funds for the provision of special education services to IDEA-eligible preschool age children in Early Intervention Day Treatment (EIDT) centers beginning July 1, 2019. This change will result in the responsibility for the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education transferring to the Local Education Agency (LEA) in which the child resides.
School districts that operate their own early childhood special education programs and educational service cooperatives that operate early childhood special education programs on behalf of school districts must work with Early Intervention Day Treatment (EIDT) centers within their attendance areas to ensure a seamless transfer of services for IDEA-eligible children.
LEA personnel must hold conferences with parent(s)/guardian(s) of eligible preschool children prior to July 1, 2019 to review/revise the current Individualized Education Program (IEP), provide a copy of "Your Rights Under the IDEA" and inform them of their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Prior to holding IEP conferences for these children, LEAs will need to determine how special education services will be provided. Some options to consider are:
- All special education services provided by EIDT center through Memorandum of Agreement between LEA and EIDT
- All special education services provided by LEA at EIDT center through joint agreement
- LEA and EIDT share in responsibility of special education services though Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
- All special education services provided at LEA early childhood program*
To aid in this process, sample procedures, checklists, sample MOAs, and other resources can be accessed using the following link: http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/learning-services/special-education/early-childhood/. Additionally, the ADE has scheduled a webinar (https://zoom.us/j/126433612) on February 14, 2019 at 3:00 PM to walk through these changes, outline responsibilities for LEAs and EIDT centers, share resources to support this transition, and answer any questions.
The ADE is aware of the increasing demands to early childhood special education programs associated with this transition and will be closely monitoring LEA child counts as the responsibility for special education services to children in EIDT centers transfers to LEAs. Be assured that the ADE will provide ongoing support as we work through this transition together. It is our sincere hope that these changes will result in increased opportunities for collaboration between early childhood education providers, and position these children to experience greater success when they enter kindergarten.
Please contact Wendy Pascoe at 501-682-4221 or Wendy.Pascoe@arkansas.gov if you have questions about the changes to early childhood special education programs outlined in this memo.