State Education Department

Oversight of School Districts’ Special Education Classification and Placement Processes for School-Age Children (Follow-Up Review)

Children are classified as disabled and placed in appropriate educational programs by their local school districts. In our prior audit report 2000-S-46, we examined how the districts’ classification and placement processes were overseen by the State Education Department for learning disabled and emotionally disturbed children. We found that these processes were formally reviewed by the Department at selected school districts, but districts were not selected for review on the basis of a formal risk assessment process to identify the districts that were least likely to comply with requirements. When we performed such an assessment, we found that 23 of the 39 districts with the greatest risk of non-compliance had not been selected for review. We also found that the appropriateness of the districts’ classification and placement decisions needed to be evaluated by the Department, as inconsistencies were identified in some of the decisions reviewed by our expert consultant. In our follow-up review, we found that the Department had taken significant action to address the matters discussed in our prior report.

For a complete copy of Report 2003-F-15 click here.