OLR Report 2015-R-0013 describes models in other states that take a regional or statewide approach to providing special education services.
Almost every state in the nation has some type of regional entity that helps deliver special education services in a geographically broader area than a single school district. When states and local school districts choose to create regional or statewide special education programs, they must still meet federal mandates, including the requirement to educate special education students in the same setting as non-special education students (i.e., the least restrictive environment).
This report looks at three types of models and provides examples of regional or statewide efforts to provide these services within the requirements of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
For example, some states provide special education services through entities called educational service agencies (ESA). This report looks at models from California, Indiana, New York, and Rhode Island, as well as Connecticut, to present an array of regional service examples.
The report also describes and gives examples of two other types of regional efforts: special school districts and programs that assist with special education administrative services.
For more information, read the full report.