The Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR) provides technical assistance to state educational agencies (SEAs) to help them meet their federal obligation to collect and report special education fiscal data as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), CIFR will improve the knowledge of SEA staff and increase state capacity to implement the underlying fiscal requirements as well as the calculations necessary to submit valid and reliable data on maintenance of state financial support (MFS), allocation of IDEA Part B subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs), LEA maintenance of effort (MOE), and coordinated early intervening services (CEIS).
CIFR Conceptual Framework
CIFR helps states build their knowledge of and capacity to implement IDEA fiscal requirements through four main areas of activity:
- Knowledge development
- Tool and template development
- Technical assistance and dissemination
- Coordination and collaboration
Graphic of a five-layer circle within a square outlined box. The inner circle contains a pyramidal shape with three taupe colored layers: top layer, darker shading with the word “Intensive”, center layer, lighter shading with the word “targeted”, bottom layer, lightest shading with the word “general”. The pyramid has a legend above it with “Differentiated System of Technical Assistance.” The second concentric circle layer is white and has four arrows pointing between the innermost circle and the third concentric circle. The third layer is light green and is divided into two arcs, the top arc with “Knowledge Development”, the bottom arc with “Tool and Template Development”. Arrows direct attention from one arc to the other. The fourth concentric circle, moving outward, is made of four dotted bi-directional arrows encircling the inner circles. The outermost layer fills only the bottom half of the circle, with the arc divided into four light blue sections, each with word of “OSEP,” “Evaluation,” “Stakeholders,” and “ED-funded Projects” with four-pointed arrows between each section. A blue half-pipe undergirds this circular graphic with text saying “coordination and collaboration”. To the right of this square graphic is a rectangular dark blue box with a watermark of two five pointed stars, divided into top and bottom. Top text: “Improve state capacity to collect and report accurate IDEA fiscal data”. Bottom text: “Increase state knowledge of underlying IDEA fiscal requirements”. Between the first-described square box and the rectangular box there are four light blue arrows directing from the square box to the smaller, rectangular box.
Understanding Intensive Technical Assistance
In 2016, the South Carolina Office of Special Education Services (OSES) engaged CIFR to provide intensive TA to help the state meet its IDEA fiscal requirements, most critically in the high-stakes area of maintenance of state financial support (MFS). The vignette examines how CIFR worked with OSES over several years to support the state’s development and implementation of an accurate methodology to report MFS.
Making the Right Call
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has funded four national technical assistance (TA) Centers to offer resources and TA to help improve the capacity of states to meet the IDEA data collection and reporting requirements. Centers are working together to make sure that each state receives the best TA possible. Download Making the Right Call (PDF) to better understand the content focus of the four TA Centers whose support will build state capacity to use high-quality data to improve outcomes for children with disabilities.
Accessing Technical Assistance on IDEA Fiscal Issues
The Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded three technical assistance (TA) centers that have responsibility for responding to issues regarding Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) fiscal reporting and data collection. The centers are the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR), IDEA Data Center (IDC), and the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI). Download this flyer (PDF) for more information.