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Special Education Programs:
Pre-School Section 619

The Preschool Grants Program, authorized under Section 619 of Part B of IDEA, was established in 1981 to provide grants to states to serve young children with disabilities, ages 3 through 5 years. All states and eligible jurisdictions and outlying areas have participated in the program since fiscal year 1992. As of December 1, 2000, slightly less than 600,000 children were receiving special education and related services nationwide.

To be eligible for Preschool Grants funds, states must implement all requirements under Part B of IDEA for special education and related services. These requirements include areas such as due process, nondiscriminatory testing and evaluation, individualized educational program (IEP), placement in the least restrictive environment, and parent participation.

South Dakota Special Eduation

In April 2005 the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) announced new reporting requirements for child and family outcomes. States will begin reporting outcomes data in the Annual Performance Report (APR) due February 2007.

State 619 programs must report the percent of preschool children with IEPs who demonstrate:

  1. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships);
  2. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy); and
  3. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.
Beginning in March 2006 when children entered the Part B system, South Dakota required educators to administer a post test in all 5 areas of development upon exiting Part C. Currently, when a child exits the Birth to 3 Connections program, the child is tested only in the area(s) of concern per Part B rules and regulations. The exit data for Part C will become the baseline data for children who become eligible for Part B.

Children who enter the Part B (619) system after the age of 3 will be pre-tested in all 5 areas of development to establish baseline. Upon exiting the 619 program a post test will be administered in all 5 areas of development. The baseline pretest scores will be compared to the post test scores in the 5 areas of development evaluated to determine progress in the three required sub-indicators.