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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Transition requirements

Section 300.321(b) modifies previous regulations regarding transition services planning for children with disabilities who are 16 through 21 years old. Public agencies are still required to invite other agencies that are likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to the child's IEP Team meeting. If the invited agency does not send a representative, public agencies are no longer required to take additional steps to obtain the participation of those agencies in the planning of transition, as required under former Sec. 300.344(b)(3)(ii).

Public agencies will realize savings from the change to the extent that they will not have to continue to contact agencies that declined to participate in IEP Team meetings on transition planning. In school year 2006-2007, we project that public agencies will conduct 1.193 million meetings for children with disabilities who are 16 through 21 years old. We used data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) on school contacts of outside agency personnel to project the number of instances in which outside agencies would be invited to IEP Team meetings during the 2006-2007 school year. Based on these data, we project that schools will invite 1.492 million personnel from other agencies to IEP Team meetings for these students during the 2006-2007 school year. The NLTS2 also collected data on the percentage of children with a transition plan for whom outside agency staff were actively involved in transition planning. Based on these data, we project that 432,800 (29 percent) of the contacts will result in the active participation of outside agency personnel in transition planning for children with disabilities who are age 16 through 21.

We base our estimate of the savings from the change on the projected 1,059,200 (71 percent) instances in which outside agencies will not participate in transition planning despite school contacts that, under the previous regulations, would have included both an invitation to participate in the child's IEP Team meeting and additional follow-up attempts. If public agencies made only one additional attempt to contact the outside agency and each attempt required 15 minutes of administrative personnel time, then the change will save $6.6 million (based on an average hourly compensation for office and administrative support staff of $25).

Studies of best practices conducted by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition indicate that effective transition planning requires structured interagency collaboration. Successful approaches cited in the studies included memoranda of understanding between relevant agencies and interagency teams or coordinators to ensure that educators, State agency personnel and other community service providers share information with parents and children with disabilities. The previous regulations focused on administrative contact instead of active strategic partnerships between agencies that facilitate seamless transitions for children with disabilities between school and adult settings. For this reason, the Department believes that the elimination of the non-statutory requirement that public agencies make additional attempts to contact other agencies will reduce administrative burden and allow public agencies to focus their efforts on interagency collaborative transition planning for children with disabilities.