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UNFUNDED MANDATE: DOES MORE MONEY MEAN BETTER SPECIAL EDUCATION COMPLIANCE?

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UNFUNDED MANDATE: DOES MORE MONEY MEAN BETTER SPECIAL EDUCATION COMPLIANCE? Final Dissertation Presentation prepared for the Final Committee Conference Call – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: UNFUNDED MANDATE: DOES MORE MONEY MEAN BETTER SPECIAL EDUCATION COMPLIANCE?


1
UNFUNDED MANDATE DOES MORE MONEY MEAN BETTER
SPECIAL EDUCATION COMPLIANCE? Final Dissertation
Presentation prepared for the Final Committee
Conference Call by Wendy Bolduc CAROLE
BURNWORTH, Ph.D., Faculty Mentor and
Chair KATHLEEN MONDELL, Ph.D., Committee Member
BARRY PERSKY, Ph.D., Committee Member Barbara
Butts Williams, Ph.D., Dean, School of
Education Submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy CAPELLA UNIVERSITY JUNE, 2012
2
DEDICATION
  • This effort is dedicated to my parents, who
    were both lifelong learners. They instilled in
    me a love of learning and a desire to pursue the
    truth. They encouraged my endless curiosity, and
    taught me the value of integrity and
    self-respect.
  • In memoriam, thank you Mom and Dad.
  • .

3
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  • I would like to acknowledge the advice and
    support of my mentor, Dr. Carole Burnworth,
  • my dissertation committee members,
  • Dr. Kathleen Mondell and Dr. Barry Persky,
  • and my advisor Dr. Jonathan Gehrz
  • throughout this effort.

4
WHY THIS TOPIC WAS SELECTED
  • My experience has been that compliance with IDEA
    is largely ignored until there is a threat of due
    process or a loss of funding.
  • I believe that compliance with Part B of IDEA
    (2004) will produce better educational and life
    outcomes for students with disabilities and help
    them to become independent contributors to
    society rather than make them dependent upon
    society,

5
WHY TOPIC WAS SELECTED (continued)
  • We have a legal, ethical and moral responsibility
    to students with disabilities and their families
    to improve special education programs through
    improved compliance in order to provide
    successful educational experiences and life
    outcomes for these students
  • Beginning with funding levels, determining some
    of the factors that may impact compliance seemed
    to be a good starting place to improve

6
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
  • R1 What relationship, if any, exists between
    per pupil funding for special education as
    provided through the ARRA stimulus program for
    Part B of IDEA (2004) and improved special
    education compliance as measured by the twenty
    performance indicators reported in state Annual
    Performance Reports (APRs)?
  • R2 Are there any significant or distinct
    characteristics that states demonstrating
    adequate or improved compliance with Part B of
    IDEA (2004) share?
  • R3 Are there any significant or distinct
    characteristics of states demonstrating
    inadequate or reduced compliance with Part B of
    IDEA (2004)?

7
MAJOR POINTS OF LITERATURE REVIEW
  • No seminal studies on the relationship of
    compliance to finance in special education were
    identified (McLeskey Landers , 2006)
  • Studies on special education funding and/or
    compliance were separate
  • ARRA (2009) stimulus program doubled federal
    special education funding in FFY09
  • Non-compliance results in high litigation costs
    to the district, inadequate program outcomes and
    poor relationships with families in special
    education

8
MAJOR POINTS OF LITERATURE REVIEW
  • Other factors identified in the literature which
    may influence compliance
  • IDEA (2004) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB, 2001)
    requirements for SWDs
  • Variations in state special education financing
    methods
  • Current state of the economy causing staffing
    and program cuts
  • Administrator awareness of special education
    legal requirements
  • Number of ELL and ESE students

9
RESEARCH METHODS
  • This was a quantitative correlational study
  • using measurable variables.
  • Compliance was first compared to funding, and
    then to other factors to determine if any were
    related to compliance

10
RESEARCH METHODS (continued)
  • Compliance for each of the two study years was
    measured using a calculated compliance rate.
  • The number of indicators for which the state
    target was met was divided by the number of
    indicators reported by the state Annual
    Performance Report (APRs), or from the Office of
    Special Educations Response Tables to the
    states.
  • Funding was measured by the average per pupil
    (APPE) special education grant amounts.
  • Special education APPEs were calculated from the
    total federal special education grant amounts to
    the state divided by the number of special
    education students served under Part B by the
    state for each of the two study years.

11
RESEARCH METHODS
  • Compliance rates for states grouped and coded as
    compliant and non-compliant were compared to
  • the number of Part B special education students
    served by the state
  • the total number of special education disputes
    for the state
  • the cost-of-living index AND

12
RESEARCH METHODS (continued)
  • the percentage of students with disabilities
    relative to school population
  • the percentage of ARRA funds obligated or spent
    by March 4. 2011
  • region of the country
  • by performing statistical procedures to compare
    means, paired samples t-tests, and correlations
    using Predictive Analysis Statistics GradPack 18
    software (PASW-18).

13
RESEARCH QUESTION 1 RESULTS
  • R1 Is there a relationship between
    increased
  • funding and compliance?
  • NO
  • No relationship between funding levels and
    compliance for either study year was found
  • There is a 91.7 probability that differences in
    the two years can be attributed to chance
  • The null hypothesis must be accepted for research
    question one.

14
RESEARCH QUESTION 2 RESULTS
  • R2 Do states showing adequate or improved
    compliance share significant or distinct
    characteristics?
  • YES
  • States with
  • smaller special education populations
  • lower numbers of special education disputes
  • location in the Central Plains, Southwest, West,
    Northwest and Pacific regions
  • were more likely to show higher compliance rates
    for both study years.

15
RESEARCH QUESTION 3 RESULTS
  • R3 Do states showing reduced or inadequate
    compliance rates share significant or
    distinct characteristics?
  • YES
  • States
  • with larger special education populations
  • with more special education disputes
  • located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic,
    Appalachia, Southeast, and Midwest regions
  • were more likely to have lower compliance rates
    for both study years

16
ADDITIONAL RESULTS
  • The percentage of students relative to the total
    school population identified as disabled and
    needing special education services was not found
    to be significantly related to compliance rates
  • The cost-of-living index for FFY09 showed a weak
    inverse relationship to compliance rates for
    FFY09
  • The percentage of ARRA money obligated or spent
    as of March 4, 2011 was not found to be
    significantly related to compliance rates

17
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
  • States with large special education populations
    might consider ways to break their special
    education populations into smaller subgroups
  • States should focus on reducing the total number
    of special education students, not percentages
  • High levels of poverty and large numbers of ELLs
    tend to produce larger numbers of students in
    special education programs (Baker Ramsey, 2010)
    so districts should attempt to further address
    ways to minimize the effects of these

18
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE(continued)
  • States should attempt to reduce the number of
    complaints they experience (whether settled,
    withdrawn or dismissed) by analyzing the types
    and numbers of complaints to pinpoint areas of
    improvement on which to focus
  • Encouraging the development of positive
    relationships with the parents of students with
    disabilities has been suggested in recent
    literature as a way to reduce the number of
    complaints (Diliberto Brewer, 2012).

19
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
  • Further study into compliance rates and ARRA
    funding for FFY10 is indicated
  • Long-term effects of programs funded through ARRA
    should be examined
  • The point at which the number of special
    education disputes and the number of special
    education students begin to adversely affect
    compliance should be examined

20
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
(continued)
  • Why region of the country appears to be a factor
    in compliance should be studied
  • The performance indicator targets should be
    examined more closely for consistency across
    states. Meeting the target in one state can mean
    something entirely different from meeting the
    target in another.

21
CONCLUSIONS
  • Whether inadequate funding is the cause of
    states failure to fully comply with IDEA has not
    been settled by this study
  • The studys results can contribute to the
    conversation about the relationship between
    funding and compliance and has identified other
    factors which may be as important if not more
    important than funding in states efforts to be
    fully compliant with IDEA requirements

22
CONCLUSIONS (continued)
  • We have a legal, ethical and a moral
    responsibility to provide students with
    disabilities with a free, appropriate public
    education in the least restrictive environment
    and in so doing improve their educational and
    life outcomes
  • Full compliance with IDEA can help to ensure that
    this becomes a reality. The futures of students
    with disabilities, and their successful
    transition into society when their schooling has
    ended depend upon it.
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