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Back to School on Civil Rights

How to Find Information in the NCD Report: Search Tips 

On January 25, 2000, the National Council on Disability published "Back to School on Civil Rights," a Report that documents the failure of all 50 states to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Act. 

What happens when states fail to comply with the law? Not much. 

We don't expect things to change until parents and other stakeholders use this information to educate their lawmakers and decision-makers about the problems. 

"Back to School on Civil Rights" is long - more than 300 pages - so finding specific information can be difficult.  

Here are some tips that will help you find information about your state - or a specific issue - in this Report.

1. Download the files into your hard drive. 

2. To find information about your state, open the first file. 

3. Click "Edit" (on your toolbar), then click "Find in Page." Type the name of your state. Click "Find Next"

Here's how this works in practice. I opened the first file, clicked "Edit," then clicked "Find in Page." I typed "California" and clicked "Find in Page."

The first "find" is Table 2: Status of Approval of IDEA Part B State Plans/State Plan Reviews for 1995-96, 1994-95, and 1993-94.

I see that California got a "C" in each of these three years. When I scroll down, I see that "C" doesn't mean "average" -- it means "conditional." California's state plan got "conditional approval" for each of these three years.

I click "Find Next" for another "hit" on California and stop at "related services."

"OSEP found that 34 states (68%) had failed to ensure compliance with the related services requirements, as shown in the following examples:"

"In one district in California, an administrator told OSEP that there were 42 students whose IEPs called for speech services, but who were not receiving the services; in another district, an administrator reported that students whose IEP teams believed they needed mental health services to benefit from special education were referred to outside agencies for the services, rather than receiving the services free of charge through their IEPs.[129]"

When I click "Find Next" again, I skip to the LRE section of the report and read:

"Students with disabilities must participate with nondisabled peers in nonacademic and extracurricular activities and services to the maximum extent appropriate to their needs."

"OSEP found that 29 states (58%) had not ensured compliance with these requirements, as shown in the following examples:"

"In California, three administrators reported that "students identified as seriously emotionally disturbed who are served in a separate school program in the district, and students with disabilities who are served in the agency's preschool program (separate school), are not provided adequate opportunities for integration with age appropriate peers, regardless of individual need. [These administrators] reported to OSEP that as a general practice there was no individualized determination of the maximum extent to which each student with a disability placed in the separate school programs could participate with nondisabled children in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities."[145]

When I click "Find Next" again, I skip to "Incarcerated Students." I read that:

"California Department of Corrections administrators responsible for educational programs in correctional facilities cited a recent study by that Department estimating that there are 6500-8500 youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 22 in the Department's facilities who would be eligible for special education and related services under current California law. They stated that the Department of Corrections currently offers adult basic education and literacy programs to assist inmates in attaining a high school diploma or high school graduation equivalency diploma, and provides adult literacy offerings, but that special education services are not currently available in any of the 29 facilities that house youth between 16 and 22."[163]"

I click "Find Next" again, and skip to "Correction of Deficiencies."

"States must adopt and use proper methods for the correction of deficiencies in program operations that are identified through monitoring."

"OSEP found that 28 states (56%) had failed to ensure the correction of deficiencies identified through their monitoring processes."

"In California, OSEP noted that ". . . many deficiencies identified in agency F in CDE's [California Department of Education's] 1993 review and OSEP's 1991 review were uncorrected."

"CDE's follow-up review, however, only confirmed that public agencies had established policies and procedures that were consistent with the requirements . . .; CDE did not investigate whether public agencies implemented these requirements, and OSEP found as part of its 1995 review that agency [F] continued to implement practices that were not consistent with these requirements."[175]

I open the second file of Part III, click "Edit," click "Find," type in "California," then click "Find Next." This took me to "Analysis of Six States" which is a comprehensive analysis of six states, including California.

"(a) California

Three monitoring reports from California were analyzed: 1988, 1992, and 1996. As displayed in the following table . . . California came into compliance with only one of 10 requirements (10%) over time -- the requirement under general supervision, the review and approval of LEA applications. Of the nine that remained non-compliant, seven remained non-compliant for almost eight years, and two for four years."

The Analysis of California's noncompliance continues for several paragraphs.

You can use these "find" techniques to find information about your state or about a specific issue. 

Back to Main Page of NCD Report

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