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IDEA State Advisory Panels (SAP) and State Interagency Coordinating Councils (SICC) Network

Who this website is intended for:
•    State Advisory Panel (SAP) members | State Education Agency (SEA) staff
•    State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) members | Lead Agency (LA) staff
•    Individuals interested in learning about the purpose and functions of the SAP and SICC

These panels and councils address the needs of students with disabilities in K-12 special education programs, early intervention programs, and preschool.

What you will find within this website:
This website contains tools and resources that will assist SAP/SICCs and SEA/LAs in implementing the State and Federal requirements for the SAP and SICC including membership, duties and state contacts.

Upcoming Webinars

Setting SICC/SAP Annual Priorities using the APR and other data.

Date and time to be announced

Recent Webinars

Effective Strategies and Practices in Providing Orientation for SICC and SAP Members

September 15, 2016 | 3:00-4:30 pm EST

This webinar will focus on effective strategies for conducting orientations for SICC and SAP members.
Recording

Addressing Significant Disproportionality in Special Education, using Stakeholders, including State Advisory Panels (SAP)

May 11, 2016 | 3:00-4:00 pm EST

The nation's special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist. Students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates. The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step towards addressing these widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities by issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This webinar addressed how stakeholders, including SAP will be involved in the process. A relevant topic for ICC members as young children in early intervention transitions to Part B services.

Stakeholder Involvement in Evaluating the SSIP

February 19, 2016 | 2:30-4:00 pm EST

Engaged stakeholders can provide meaningful support and advice to State Education and Lead Agencies regarding Phase 2 of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). This webinar will focus on strategies and tools to help stakeholders actively participate and provide meaningful advice in the SSIP evaluation process.

SAP and ICC FAQ

What is the purpose of the State Special Education Advisory Panel (SAP)?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (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.

What are the federal regulations for membership of State Special Education Advisory Panels?

300.168 Membership

(a) General. The advisory panel must consist of members appointed by the Governor, or any other official authorized under State law to make such appointments, be representative of the State population and be composed of individuals involved in, or concerned with the education of children with disabilities, including—
1. Parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26);
2. Individuals with disabilities;
3. Teachers;
4. Representatives of institutions of higher education that prepare special education and related services personnel;
5. State and local education officials, including officials who carry out activities under subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.);
6. Administrators of programs for children with disabilities;
7. (Representatives of other State agencies involved in the financing or delivery of related services to children with disabilities;
8. Representatives of private schools and public charter schools;
9. Not less than one representative of a vocational, community, or business organization concerned with the provision of transition services to children with disabilities;
10. A representative from the State child welfare agency responsible for foster care; and
11. Representatives from the State juvenile and adult corrections agencies.

Special rule. A majority of the members of the panel must be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26).
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(21)(B) and (C))
Some Panels include a student with a disability on their Panel.

What are the functions of the State Advisory Panels?

Federal regulations define the responsibilities of State Advisory Panels as follows:

1. Advise the State of unmet needs in the education of children with disabilities.
2. Comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed by the State regarding the education of children with disabilities.
3. Provide advice to the State staff in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary of Education.
4. Advise the State in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in Federal monitoring.
5. Advise the State in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities.
6. Review all final due process officer findings and decisions.

(CFR 300.169)

Are State Advisory Panels required to follow specific procedures?

Federal regulations do not designate a specific number of meetings to be conducted annually by the State Advisory Panel. The panel should hold adequate meetings to conduct its business. The following elements could be included in the panel procedures: The advisory panel should submit an annual report of panel activities and suggestions to the State Education Agency 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 the 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.

Do all Panels have established by-laws?

By-laws are the procedures that provide guidance to the operation of an organization. States have chosen different terms to use to describe such a document including rules, operating procedures, and panel guidelines. Regardless of the chosen term, it is important that panels take the time to effectively address their responsibilities. Below are common issues found in such documents: Panel name and authority
Purpose of the panel
Membership issues
Voting procedures
Agenda development
Panel meeting norms
Panel meeting schedule
Procedures for public input
SEA roles
Glossary of terms
Standing committees
Panel activities

What is the importance of an SAP annual meeting?

An annual or first meeting can provide an opportunity for panel members to review the existing by-laws and provide an orientation. It sets aside a specified time to promote collaboration among the panel members as they identify priorities and develop a yearly plan of action.

What are basic activities conducted at State Advisory Panel meetings?

Below are examples of items commonly included on State advisory panel agendas: Welcome and introductions
Approval of agenda and minutes
Announcements
Old/new business
Overview of packet materials
Report from State director or staff
Report on continuous improvement and focused monitoring activities
Report on State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report
Report on Level of Determination
Public comments
Group or sub-committee reports
Action items
Meeting summary and future agenda items
Establishment of next meeting

What are some recommended activities that strengthen the effectiveness of the State Advisory Panel?

Developing by-laws and operating procedures
Establishing annual priorities
Providing an orientation and annual planning meeting
Developing an annual report
Ongoing and annual review of committee achievements
Involvement with the State APR and SPP
Knowledge and understanding of the State’s Level of Determination

What is the purpose of an annual report?

The advisory panel should submit an annual report to the State Education Agency. The annual report is an extremely important document. It outlines advice to the State on the priority areas that were addressed by the panel during the year. This report serves to apprise State officials and the public of the activities conducted by the panel during the year. It delineates those areas of need within a State that are viewed as priorities in the education of children with disabilities. The report serves to provide advice to the State regarding the development of policy procedures needed to support the education of children with disabilities.

What could be the key components to be included in the annual report?

While the annual reports vary among States, the following elements are common in the development of the document:
Preface
Cover letter
Table of contents
Message from the chair
Membership
Annual priorities and goals
Advice regarding the SPP, APR, and Level of Determination
Panel advice and recommendation on priority issues
Key activities
Meeting agendas and minutes
Future issues
Resource section
The report should be concise, user friendly, and advisory in nature.

Are all State Advisory Panels similar?

All States are required to meet the federal regulations regarding State special education advisory panels. However, States may also have State regulations that establish panel responsibilities beyond those outlined in federal regulations
Additionally, panels develop by-laws and operational procedures that enable members to adequately carry out their responsibilities and represent the needs of individuals with disabilities in their State.

How are panel members appointed?

The advisory panel must be appointed by the Governor or other officials authorized under State law to make those appointments.

Where is the SAP described in legislation?

Authority for State Advisory Panels (SAPs) from IDEA legislation:
Sec. 612(a)(21) "The State has established and maintains an advisory panel for the purpose of providing policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the State."

What is the purpose of the State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC)?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that each State establish and maintain an interagency council for the purpose of advising and assisting the State lead agency staff regarding early intervention for eligible children with disabilities.

What are the federal regulations for membership of State Interagency Coordinating Councils?

(1) In general.--The council shall be composed as follows:
(A) Parents.--Not less than 20 percent of the members shall be parents of infants or toddlers with disabilities or children with disabilities aged 12 or younger, with knowledge of, or experience with, programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities. Not less than 1 such member shall be a parent of an infant or toddler with a disability or a child with a disability aged 6 or younger.
(B) Service providers.--Not less than 20 percent of the members shall be public or private providers of early intervention services.
(C) State legislature.--Not less than 1 member shall be from the State legislature.
(D) Personnel preparation.--Not less than 1 member shall be involved in personnel preparation.
(E) Agency for early intervention services.--Not less than 1 member shall be from each of the State agencies involved in the provision of, or payment for, early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and shall have sufficient authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf of such agencies.
(F) Agency for preschool services.--Not less than 1 member shall be from the State educational agency responsible for preschool services to children with disabilities and shall have sufficient authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf of such agency.
(G) State medicaid agency.--Not less than 1 member shall be from the agency responsible for the State medicaid program.
(H) Head start agency.--Not less than 1 member shall be a representative from a Head Start agency or program in the State.
(I) Child care agency.--Not less than 1 member shall be a representative from a State agency responsible for child care.
(J) Agency for health insurance.--Not less than 1 member shall be from the agency responsible for the State regulation of health insurance.
(K) Office of the coordinator of education of homeless children and youth.--Not less than 1 member shall be a representative designated by the Office of Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and Youths.
(L) State foster care representative.--Not less than 1 member shall be a representative from the State child welfare agency responsible for foster care.
(M) Mental health agency.--Not less than 1 member shall be a representative from the State agency responsible for children's mental health.
(2) Other members.--The council may include other members selected by the Governor, including a representative from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), or where there is no BIA- operated or BIA-funded school, from the Indian Health Service or the tribe or tribal council.

What are the functions of the State Interagency Coordinating Council?

(1) Duties.--The council shall--
(A) advise and assist the lead agency designated or established under section 635(a)(10) in the performance of the responsibilities set forth in such section, particularly the identification of the sources of fiscal and other support for services for early intervention programs, assignment of financial responsibility to the appropriate agency, and the promotion of the interagency agreements;
(B) advise and assist the lead agency in the preparation of applications and amendments thereto;
(C) advise and assist the State educational agency regarding the transition of toddlers with disabilities to preschool and other appropriate services; and
(D) prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and to the Secretary on the status of early intervention programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families operated within the State.
(2) Authorized activity.--The council may advise and assist the lead agency and the State educational agency regarding the provision of appropriate services for children from birth through age 5. The council may advise appropriate agencies in the State with respect to the integration of services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and at-risk infants and toddlers and their families, regardless of whether at-risk infants and toddlers are eligible for early intervention services in the State.

Are all State Interagency Coordinating Councils similar?

All States are required to meet the federal regulations regarding State Interagency Coordinating Councils. However, States may also have State regulations that establish council responsibilities beyond those outlined in federal regulations Additionally, councils develop by-laws and operational procedures that enable members to adequately carry out their responsibilities and represent the needs of young children with disabilities and their families in their State.

How are council members appointed?

The council shall be appointed by the Governor. In making appointments to the council, the Governor shall ensure that the membership of the council reasonably represents the population of the State.

Are State Interagency Coordinating Councils required to follow specific procedures?

Meetings.--The council shall meet, at a minimum, on a quarterly basis, and in such places as the council determines necessary. The meetings shall be publicly announced, and, to the extent appropriate, open and accessible to the general public.
Management Authority.--Subject to the approval of the Governor, the council may prepare and approve a budget using funds under this part to conduct hearings and forums, to reimburse members of the council for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending council meetings and performing council duties (including child care for parent representatives), to pay compensation to a member of the council if the member is not employed or must forfeit wages from other employment when performing official council business, to hire staff, and to obtain the services of such professional, technical, and clerical personnel as may be necessary to carry out its functions under this part.

Who serves as Chair of the Council?

The Governor shall designate a member of the council to serve as the chairperson of the council, or shall require the council to so designate such a member. Any member of the council who is a representative of the lead agency designated under section 635(a)(10) may not serve as the chairperson of the council.

Do all Councils have established by-laws?

By-laws are the procedures that provide guidance to the operation of an organization. States have chosen different terms to use to describe such a document including rules, operating procedures, and by-laws. Regardless of the chosen term, it is important that councils take the time to effectively address and document their responsibilities. Below are common issues found in such records:
o Council name and authority
o Purpose of the council
o Mission, vision, and guiding principles of the council
o Membership issues (e.g., list with contact information, application, appointment procedures, requirements of members)
o Voting policies and procedures
o Agenda development
o Council meeting norms
o Council meeting schedule
o Procedures for public input
o Lead Agency roles and responsibilities
o Glossary of terms
o Standing committees
o Council activities
o Reimbursement policies and procedures

What about conflict of interest?

No member of the council shall cast a vote on any matter that is likely to provide a direct financial benefit to that member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under State law.

What is the importance of an annual meeting or SICC retreat?

An annual or first meeting/retreat provides an opportunity for council members to review the existing by-laws and provide an orientation for any new members. It sets aside a specified time to promote collaboration among the council members as they identify priorities and develop or revise a yearly (or longer) strategic plan of action.

What are basic activities conducted at State Interagency Coordinating Council meetings?

Below are typical activities for an SICC meeting:

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Approval of agenda and minutes
  • Announcements, including updates from SICC members
  • Overview of packet materials
  • Old/new business
    • Report from Part C Coordinator or staff
    • Report on continuous improvement and focused monitoring activities
    • Report on State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report, including SSIP updates
    • Report on Level of Determination (state and/or local)
    • Group or sub-committee reports
  • Public comments
  • Action items
  • Meeting summary and future agenda items
  • Establishment of next meeting

What are some recommended activities that strengthen the effectiveness of the State Interagency Coordinating Council?

  • Developing by-laws and operating procedures
  • Establishing annual priorities/strategic plan
  • Providing an orientation and annual planning meeting/retreat
  • Developing an annual report
  • Ongoing and annual review of committee achievements and needs
  • Involvement with the State APR and SPP
  • Knowledge and understanding of the State’s Level of Determination

What is the purpose of an annual report?

The ICC is required to prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and to the federal Secretary of Education on the status of early intervention programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families operated within the State. An ICC may choose to use the Lead Agency’s SPP/APR as their annual report.
The annual report can also be used to educate stakeholders (e.g., legislators, families, providers) about the status of early intervention programs in a state. It is an extremely important document, as it outlines advice and assistance provided to the Lead Agency during the year. In addition, it provides information to the State on the areas that were addressed by the council during the year. It delineates those areas of need within a State that are viewed as priorities for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Finally, the report serves to provide advice to the State regarding the development and sustainability of an infrastructure needed to support early intervention services for young children with disabilities and their families.

What could be the key components to be included in the annual report?

  • While the annual reports vary among States, the following elements might be included in the document:
    • Preface
    • Cover letter
    • Table of contents
    • Message from the chair
    • Membership
    • Annual priorities and goals
    • Advice regarding the SPP, APR, and Level of Determination
    • Council advice and recommendation on priority issues
    • Key activities
    • Family stories
    • Meeting agendas and minutes
    • Future issues
    • Resource section
  • The report should be concise, user friendly, and advisory in nature.

Where is the ICC described in legislation?

Authority for State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICCs) from IDEA legislation: 20 USC 1441(f) "The council shall … advise and assist the lead agency … in the performance of the responsibilities … particularly the identification of the sources of fiscal and other support for services for early intervention programs, assignment of financial responsibility to the appropriate agency, and the promotion of the interagency agreements."