oversight

Department of Education: Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities and the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-03-25.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Office of the General Counsel


      B-282276



      March 25, 1999

      The Honorable James M. Jeffords
      Chairman
      The Honorable Edward M. Kennedy
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
      United States Senate

      The Honorable William F. Goodling
      Chairman
      The Honorable William L. Clay
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Education and the Workforce
      House of Representatives

      Subject:   Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
                 Services: Assistance to States for the Education of Children with
                 Disabilities and the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers
                 with Disabilities

      Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on
      a major rule promulgated by the Department of Education (Department), Office of
      Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, entitled "Assistance to States for the
      Education of Children with Disabilities and the Early Intervention Program for
      Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities" (RIN: 1820-AB40). We received the rule
      on March 12, 1999. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on
      March 12, 1999. 64 Fed. Reg. 12406.

      The final rule implements changes made to the Individuals with Disabilities
      Education Act (Part B) and the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers
      with Disabilities (Part C of the Act) by the 1997 amendments to the Act. It also
      revises the requirements on state complaint procedures under the Parts B and C
      programs.

      Enclosed is our assessment of the Department's compliance with the procedural
      steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the


                                                                           GAO/OGC-99-35
rule. Our review indicates that the Department of Education complied with the
applicable requirements.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact James Vickers, Assistant
General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation
work relating to the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services, is Cindy Fagnoni, Director, Education, Workforce, and
Income Security Issues. Ms. Fagnoni can be reached at (202) 512-7215.




Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel

Enclosure

cc: Mr. Steven N. Schatken
    Assistant General Counsel for Regulations
    Department of Education




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                                                                         ENCLOSURE

       ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                                ISSUED BY
                    THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
       OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
                                ENTITLED
             "ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION OF
        CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES AND THE EARLY INTERVENTION
         PROGRAM FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS WITH DISABILITIES"
                             (RIN: 1820-AB40)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The Department has conducted a cost and benefit analysis of the final rule. The
analysis examines the extent to which changes made by the 1997 amendments
added to or reduced the costs for school districts and others in relation to the costs
of implementing the law prior to the amendments. Utilizing this methodology, the
Secretary of Education has concluded that the statutory changes included in the
final rule will not, on net, impose significant costs in any one year and may result in
savings to state and local educational agencies.

One of the benefits listed in the analysis is the amount of time saved by special
education personnel for maintaining the records on how their time is allocated in
regular classrooms among children with and without disabilities.

The analysis discusses, section by section, whether the burden and cost of
complying with each provision is increased or decreased by the final rule.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605,
607, and 609

The Secretary has certified that the final rule will not have a significant economic
impact on a substantial number of small entities.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535

The final rule does not impose an intergovernmental or private sector mandate, as
defined in title II, of more than $100 million in a year under the Unfunded Mandates
Reform Act of 1995.




                                                                     GAO/OGC-99-35
(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

The final rule was issued using the notice and comment procedures contained at
5 U.S.C. § 553. On October 22, 1997, the Department published a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. 62 Fed. Reg. 55026. In response to
the Notice, the Department received over 6,000 comments. An attachment to the
final rule's preamble contains an analysis by the Department of Education of the
comments received and a description of the changes made to the proposed rule
based on the responses.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520

The final rule contains information collections which are subject to review by the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The collections include complaint procedures, lists of hearing officers and
mediators, and an annual report of children served. The preamble to the final rule
contains the information required by the Act, including the reasons for the
collections and an estimate of the annual burden hours imposed.

The collections have been submitted to OMB for approval and assignment of a
control number. Compliance with the collections is not required until such
approval is obtained and when it has been obtained, the Department will publish a
notice in the Federal Register.

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule was issued under the authority of 20 U.S.C. §§ 1411-1420.

Executive Order No. 12866

The final rule was determined to be an "economically significant" regulatory action
under the order. It was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget and
approved as meeting the requirements of the order on February 18, 1999.




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