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 Special Education Services and Supports

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Georgia Department of Education (Division for Special Education Services and Supports) provides necessary infrastructure and supports for leaders, teachers, and families to meet the whole child needs of each student improving student outcomes and school climate resulting in an increased quality of life and workforce ready future. We must commit to effective collaboration across agencies ​​and school-home partnerships to support local school districts in their efforts to provide special education and related services for students with disabilities. ​

The GaDOE must provide state General Supervision for local school districts to improve educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities and ensure that the requirements of IDEA are met. We believe that all students must have an equitable opportunity for school completion and successful postsecondary outcomes.​​​

Important Reminder from OSEP to Part B Directors and 619 Coordinators - March 14, 2023

​​​It has come to our attention that in initial evaluations have sometimes been delayed or denied by local educational agencies (LEAs) until a child goes through the multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) process, sometimes referred to as Response to Intervention (RTI). Although the term RTI is no longer commonly used to describe a State’s multi-tiered system of supports, the attached memoranda apply to all tiered systems of support, whether the State uses a RTI. MTSS or a unique State name. The basis for these memoranda is the child find requirements in Section 612(a)(3) of the IDEA.  Each IDEA Part B and Part C grantee must ensure it has a system in place for meeting the child find requirements as a condition for funding.

​OSEP reminds State educational agencies and LEAs that the Part B regulations at 34 C.F.R. §300.301(b) allow a parent to request an initial evaluation at any time to determine if a child is a child with a disability under IDEA. As OSEP Memorandum 11-07 states, MTSS/RTI may not be used to delay or deny a full and individual evaluation under 34 C.F.R. §§300.304-300.311 for a child suspected of having a disability. With respect to preschool children, IDEA does not require or encourage a local or preschool program to use a MTSS approach prior to referral for evaluation or as part of determining whether a 3-, 4-, or 5-year-old is eligible for special education and related services. Once an LEA receives a referral from a preschool program, the LEA must initiate an evaluation process to determine if the child is a child with a disability.  See: 34 C.F.R. §300.301(b).

​OSEP recommends that you review the attached memoranda and distribute them to LEAs and intermediate education units within your State.  Please let them know that because the content of these memoranda reflects IDEA statutory and regulatory requirements, they are still in effect. ​

1.  OSEP Memorandum 11-07--A Response to Intervention (RTI) Process Cannot Be Used to Delay-Deny an Evaluation for Eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (January 21, 2011); and 

​2. OSEP Memorandum 16-07--A Response to Intervention Process Cannot be Used to Delay-Deny an Evaluation for Preschool Education Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education   Act (April 29, 2016). ​

Gregg Corr​, Ed.D.
Division Director
Monitoring and State improvement Planning
Office of Special Education Programs

Annual State Application under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2023

​​The Division for Special Education Services and Supports seeks input on the proposed annual state application for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. ​

Comments should be sent to Wina Low, State Director, at no later than May 17, 2023.

OSEP (updated Feb 2022)  Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents in Private Schools - NEW

This revised Q&A document updates and supersedes the Department's April 2011 guidance and includes additional questions and answers that address topics that have arisen as state and LEAs continue to implement the provision of IDEA related to proportionate share and equitable services.

NEW​ - ​​​Statewide Technical Assistance Meeting 1% Participation  - Presentation

Professional Learning Opportunities ​

Pro​fessional Learning is the means by which teachers, administrators, and other staff acquire, enhance, and refine the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions necessary to create and support high levels of learning for all students.
Purpose: To provide leadership, technical assistance, and resources to the Georgia education community in order to improve student learning through organizational development and professional learning    
GaDOE Professional Learning Events  
Professional learning events are updated quarterly, and educational stakeholders are encouraged to visit the site often to review the latest agency-wide offerings. View GaDOE professional learning events here. ​​

​​Spotlight on New and Notable Resources