The IDEA requires that each state establish and maintain an advisory panel for the purpose of advising the state special education staff regarding the education of eligible children with disabilities. This includes advising the state on the education of students with disabilities who have been convicted as adults and are incarcerated in adult prisons.
What is the Federal regulation for establishing State Special Education Advisory Panels?
Establishment of the Advisory Panel
- Each state shall establish and maintain a State Advisory Panel on the education of children with disabilities.
- Oklahoma’s advisory panel is appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Draft Revised Guidelines (July 2016) IDEA-B State Advisory Panel Operating Guidelines
Are all State Advisory Panels similar?
All states are required to meet the federal regulations regarding state advisory panels. However, states may also have state regulations that establish panel responsibilities beyond those outlined in federal regulations.
How are panel members appointed?
The advisory panel must be appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
What is the required membership of the State Advisory Panel?
Panel membership must be composed of individuals who are representative of the state’s population and involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with disabilities. A majority of the members of the panel must be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. Panel membership should include individuals who represent the following areas:
- Parents of children (aged birth through 26)
- Individuals with disabilities
- Representatives of institutions of higher education that prepared special education and related services personnel
- State education officials
- Local education staff
- Administrators of programs for children with disabilities
- Representatives of other state agencies involved in the financing or delivery of related services to children with disabilities
- Representatives of private schools
- Representatives of public charter schools
- At least one representative of a vocational, community, or business organization concerned with the provision of transition service to children with disabilities
- Representatives from the state juvenile agency
- A member who represents homeless children
- Representatives from adult corrections agencies
- A member from state child welfare responsible for child care
- Others as appropriate
What are the functions of State Advisory Panels?
Federal regulations define the responsibilities of State Advisory Panels as follows:
- Advise the state of unmet needs in the education of children with disabilities.
- Comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed by the state regarding the education of children with disabilities.
- Provide advice to the state staff in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary of Education.
- Advise the state in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in federal monitoring.
- Advise the state in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities.
- Review all final due process hearing officer findings and decisions.
Are State Advisory Panels required to follow specific procedures?
- Federal regulations do not designate a specific number of panel meetings. The panel should hold adequate meetings to conduct its business.
- The advisory panel must submit an annual report of panel activities and suggestions to the State Educational Agency by July 1 of each year. This report must be made available to the public.
- Official minutes must be kept on all panel meetings.
- All advisory panel meetings must be open to the public and agenda items must be publicly announced prior to the meeting.
- Interpreters and other necessary services must be provided at panel meetings for panel members or participants.
- The advisory panel members serve without compensation, but the state must reimburse the members for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending meetings and performing duties.
What are the basic activities conducted at State Advisory Panel Meetings?
- Welcome and introductions.
- Announcements and old/new business.
- Report from state director or staff.
- Report on State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Plan.
- Public comment.
- Establishment of next meeting.
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