According to 2022 fiscal year data, 38 states, territories, and the District of Columbia were categorized as “needs assistance” with regard to implementing special education requirements and improving student outcomes  for students ages 3-21 during the year evaluated or for two or more consecutive years. On June 21st, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) released a list of state determinations. The previous year’s “needs assistance”  number was 35.

Twenty states and the Republic of the Marshall Islands earned the highest rating of “meets requirements.” No state fell into the lowest-performing category of “needs substantial intervention.” The Bureau of Indian Education received a rating of “needs intervention,” which is the next-to-last category.

According to The Advocacy Institute, a nonprofit organization that tracks IDEA state determinations, only six states — Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — have been rated as “meets requirements” each year since 2014.

As reported by K-12 Dive, for 2025 and beyond the USDE is considering three updates related to IDEA Part B determinations as part of efforts to “incorporate equity and improve results for children with disabilities.” These new provisions could include:
–Whether a state would be prohibited from attaining “meets requirements” if OSEP had identified long-standing noncompliance for at least three or more years.
–Additional factors for improvement in proficiency rates on regular and alternate statewide assessments. 
–Whether and how to continue including NAEP participation and proficiency in the state determinations. 

Additionally, the USDE is looking at two adjustments in IDEA Part C determinations. One would factor in long-standing noncompliance. The other concerns whether and how to consider certain data on results for child outcomes.

For more from K-12 Dive, click here.