CAROL SEAY: Hello. Welcome to the poster session using the power of Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) to report Maintenance of Effort/Coordinated Early Intervening Services (MOE/CEIS) data to Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and we know that’s quite a mouthful.
A few introductions to begin with: Nancy Copa, who is with the Common Education Data Standards — or CEDS — contributed to this presentation, however, will not be presenting with us today. Fred Edora is with the Center for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Fiscal Reporting (CIFR), Dan Mello, also with the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR), and I am Carol Seay with the Center for the Integration of IDEA Data (CIID).
So, what is Maintenance of Effort/Coordinated Early Intervening Services (MOE/CEIS)? Each year states are required to submit the MOE/CEIS data to OSEP. MOE or maintenance of effort requires that school districts or local educational agencies (LEAs) maintain their level of state and local funding, fund spending, on the provision of special education related services, from one year to the next. School districts are allowed to reduce this spending in some circumstances. CEIS or coordinated early intervening services are the services school districts must provide students if they are found to have significant disproportionality…excuse me…significant disproportionality in the placement or identification of students with disabilities in one racial ethnic group as compared to all other racial ethnic groups, or in the discipline of students with disabilities in one racial ethnic group, as compared to all other racial ethnic groups. These data are submitted in EdFacts Metadata and Process Systems (EMAPS) as an Excel CSV file no later than the first Wednesday of May each year.
The Maintenance of Effort/Coordinated Early Intervening Services (MOE/CEIS) submission has many somewhat complex data elements. In addition to the school district or LEA name and NCES number. The 611, or school age allocation of the Part B IDEA federal funds for the referenced and previous federal fiscal year are reported for each LEA. Also, the 619 or early childhood allocation for the federal funds for each LEA is reported for the referenced federal fiscal year. For the MOE — or maintenance of effort — section of this collection, states report the determination status for each LEA. LEAs are required to meet all requirements of IDEA. Obviously, LEAs either meet requirements, need assistance, or need some level of intervention to meet these requirements. If a state has issued a determination of Meets Requirements, the LEA is then permitted to reduce their MOE for specific reasons. The decision to reduce MOE and the amount by which MOE was reduced are reported. Most states have an MOE compliance standard. In the MOE/CEIS data submission, states report whether or not they require LEAs to meet an MOE compliance standard and also if the LEA does in fact meet this standard. Finally, in the MOE section, states report if funds were returned to the Federal Department of Education for failure to meet MOE compliance, and if so, the amount.
In the final two sections of the Maintenance of Effort/Coordinated Early Intervening Services (MOE/CEIS) submission, states report the status of each LEA regarding significant disproportionality in the areas of identification, placement, or discipline of students with disabilities. This is also thought of as the equitable provision of services to students with disabilities. This is where, if an LEA has significant disproportionality in any of these areas, they are required to provide early intervening services using 15% of their IDEA federal allocation. These data, including the amount of funds, are reported.
Lastly, LEAs may voluntarily use up to 15% of their IDEA federal funds to provide early intervening services to children without disabilities. For the required and the voluntary CEIS, states report — for each LEA — the number of students who received early intervening services and those who subsequently became eligible and received special education and related services. You can see that this is a complex set of data elements. We will now describe common education data standards, or CEDS, and describe how CEDS may assist states as they work to report their MOE/CEIS data.
FRED EDORA: Thank you, Carol. My name is Fred Edora, I am with the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting, or CIFR, and glad to be here with you. And as Carol mentioned, I’m here to explain what Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) is. And CEDS — If you’re not familiar with the acronym — it is the Common Education Data Standards. And the CEDS standards allow different entities like states, different state data systems, to really speak the same language by having a common terminology or a common dictionary of elements where the definitions are the same, and you have the same option sets, same kinds of selections available for each element. And in CEDS a standard is made up of several pieces of information, as you kind of see on the screen here, that provide context for data items and describe the data items such as the element itself. So, what is the element? And what are the options sets, including what you can select within each of those elements, and as well as the domain and entity what, you know, where, in the broader data system, or where in the broader standard is that data element located?
It really is an initiative to try to standardize data, a lot of these state different states and entities to try to help them speak the same language and try to get a common definition of a lot of these things. As Carol kind of mentioned already, this report that we’re talking about already is a very complicated report. And in a lot of these elements, there could be misunderstandings of what different definitions are, and what that kind of looks like. So, this is to try to assist with that and to try to help with understanding of a lot of these definitions, and that’s the whole point of really what a data standard is all about.
And with CEDS, and with the connections that are available with that, there really was an opportunity for CIFR to collaborate with other Technical Assistance (TA) Centers such as CEDS and Center for the Integration of IDEA Data (CIID), to incorporate more fiscal data elements into CEDS, while also providing an opportunity for states to think about integrating their fiscal data when using connections within CEDS. A connection is a way for a data system within a state to be able to connect to the elements — the data elements that are available within the common education data standards. And, you know, if you’re from a state, you may know a lot of your fiscal systems tend to be disparate. Meaning they’re generally not integrated into your statewide student Information data system or local data student information system. And the person responsible for fiscal data within these systems may be in different departments, may be in different agencies. And even the special education needs this data to be able to report MOE/CEIS, getting that data, getting that fiscal data may be a challenge. And that’s why the main objective really is here, lead an effort to create a CEDS connection that isn’t within the scope of CIFR and use or create CEDS elements to satisfy the required federal reporting — that Carol mentioned — of IDEA fiscal data.
A real tangible benefit, of course, if we create that connection, is really to be able to create that connection and have increased state awareness that CEDS plus fiscal data can really play in the same playground together, can really work well together, and be able to provide a benefit for you as a state to use that connection so that that way it’ll be easier to report the logical path forward here, which is the MOE/CEIS report. And since all 50 states plus all the entities have to report this data annually to OSEP, this is one of those things where if we can get a report like this out there, a connection out there, any stake because it’s publicly available once a connection is out there, you’ll be able to use that report to be able to map to your system, if you decide to use the connection. But, you know, part of the vision here is not just to create a report. There’s a lot of other opportunities to be able to use this connection for other things. And I’ll turn it over to Dan to kind of talk about what that looks like. So, Dan…
DAN MELLO: Thank you, Fred, and thank you, Carol. When it comes to using data to promote equity and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) depends on the accurate reports of (Maintenance of Effort/Coordinated Early Intervening Services) MOE, CEIS and significant disproportionality to ensure that no children are inequitably identified, placed, or disciplined during their education. These calculations are complex, but they are meaningful. These standardized data connections can improve understanding, communication and quality of these measures, and can help state educational agencies (SEAs) achieve the intended outcomes of the collections, making a difference for students in the classroom.
States who have standardized IDEA data elements have seen multiple benefits. It provides the opportunity for determining a common source of truth, a data point of record, or a common agreed upon reference for the reporting and use of data. This is one benefit among many data governance opportunities. Others could be data alignment between agencies, identification of ownership of data. Each of these can provide a basis for interagency collaboration. Data standardization is a necessary step in the process of automation, which is a direction we’d all like to be headed that, when done well, when underpinned by high quality data alignment, will ultimately benefit students. There would be benefits for local educational agencies (LEAs), as well. Oftentimes, inequities are identified or observed in LEAs and the math, and the data can really get in the way of identifying root cause. These tools can promote understanding. An LEA can understand significant disproportionality calculations when we standardize the data to provide a basis for communication.
SEAs are also growing in their capacity to report for report data for meaningful use with powerful business intelligence tools, often at great expense of both time and funds. These data connections would allow states to collaborate on the programming and production of high-quality data use tools for MOE, CEIS, and significant disproportionality. What does that mean? For the simplest example, a state could develop a report, and then a second state who had mapped their data to the same CEDS could then use that report. Down the road, that second state could build upon or modify that code to enhance the report. A third state might come along and make use of that report. That first state might take advantage of that report, as well.
So, we anticipate that this CEDS connection will be a net positive for SEAs, LEAs, and for students. The real benefits will come from the collaborative communities across SEAs or within an SEA, across agencies who will build from this work and incorporate it into their data systems.
We thank you for taking the time to view this presentation. We invite you to reach out to any of us listed here on this page to include your voice in this work. We value the opportunity to collaborate and work together. Thank you and have a great day.