RD70 - Barriers and Recommendations to Serving Virginia Students with Disabilities in their Local Public Schools – December 6, 2016

Executive Summary:
During the 2015 General Assembly session, The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) was tasked to convene an interagency workgroup to assess the barriers to serving students with disabilities in their local public schools. Language in the budget amendment stipulated that the workgroup shall examine existing policies and funding formulas which include the following:

– school divisions' program requirements
– localities' composite indices
– local Children's Services Act (CSA) match rate allocations
– local CSA rate setting practices
– the impact of caps on support positions
– policies for transitioning students back to the public school
– funding for local educational programming based on models which are collaborative and create savings for both local and state government while providing youth an educational option within their communities.

On Thursday, September 29, 2016, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) conducted a comprehensive stakeholder meeting with over 30 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds. The VDOE used a facilitated process developed by the National Association of State Directors of Special education called “Leading by Convening” in which a series of core guided questions were asked during whole and small group work. The following report is a summary of the responses received from both work groups (whole and small).