For an 11th consecutive year, Virginia has earned the U.S. Department of Education’s highest rating for improving outcomes for students with disabilities and compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA.

The annual IDEA report card scores states on the participation and performance of students with disabilities on state and national reading and mathematics tests and on the success of states in improving graduation rates for special education students. The report card also includes indicators related to discipline, the identification of minority students for special education services, the evaluation of students for services and the development of individualized education programs, and the resolution of disputes.

The commonwealth received a “Meets Requirements” designation for 2022 under the federal education department’s Results-Driven Accountability System for special education. The rating reflects student outcomes and compliance data from the 2019-2020 school year — the most recent data available under the federal special education reporting system.

The Virginia Department of Education expanded its special education monitoring program during the 2021-2022 school year to include expanded criteria for investigating complaints and a new process for confirming that school divisions implement required corrective actions. The enhancements addressed 2020 recommendations from the federal Office of Special Education Programs and the commonwealth’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

IDEA requires states and school divisions to ensure that children with disabilities receive educational services that meet their educational needs and prepare them for further education, employment and productive lives. IDEA also requires states to establish targets in their annual state performance plans for achieving the objectives of the law.