Coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) are services to help children who need additional academic or behavioral support to be successful in school. They can include professional development and educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and supports (see 34 CFR §300.226(b); 34 CFR §300.646(d)(1)(i)). Under the IDEA, the provision of CEIS can be voluntary or mandatory.
Voluntary CEIS is defined by regulations under 34 CFR §300.226. These regulations allow public educational agencies (PEAs) to use up to 15 percent of their combined IDEA Part B Section 611 and Section 619 funds to implement voluntary CEIS. The activities can be divided into any portion between section 611 and section 619.
IDEA regulations guiding the mandatory provision of CEIS — referred to as comprehensive coordinated early intervening services (CCEIS)— were revised in 2016. These regulations require LEAs identified by their states as having significant disproportionality based on race or ethnicity to reserve 15 percent of their combined IDEA Part B Section 611 and Section 619 funds to implement CCEIS. States must identify disproportionality with respect to identification, placement, and/or disciplinary removals. CCEIS is defined by regulations at 34 CFR §300.646(d). If your PEA was required to provide CCEIS, please contact ESS Program Management for further information as these PEAs are required to provide further information beyond grant reports.
Voluntary CEIS activities that may be funded under Part B for students not on an individualized education plan (IEP) by PEAs include:
- Providing professional development for teachers and other school staff to enable such personnel to deliver scientifically-based academic and behavioral interventions, including scientifically based literacy instruction and, where appropriate, instruction on the use of adaptive and instructional software; and
- Providing educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and supports, including scientifically based literacy instruction (see 34 CFR §300.226(b)).
Additionally, the students must be receiving services through one of the CEIS funded activities to be counted as a student receiving CEIS services:
- Professional development - students served by personnel who participated in professional development activities supported by CEIS funds;
- School-wide intervention initiatives - students who participated in school-wide intervention initiative activities supported with CEIS funds should be counted as receiving CEIS as follows;
- Educational and behavioral evaluations - students who are evaluated to determine the supports necessary for success in a general education environment should be counted as receiving CEIS in the year of evaluation; or
- Direct services and supports - students receiving direct service or supports supported with CEIS funds should be counted every year in which they receive the services
PEAs are required to report how many students received CEIS services into AzEDS.
Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) FAQ
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows, and sometimes requires, public education agencies (PEAs) to use funds provided under Part B of the IDEA for coordinated early intervening services (CEIS). This provision permits PEAs to use Part B funds to develop and provide CEIS for students who are currently not identified as needing special education, unless they are compelled to provide CCEIS.
2. Why would a PEA use CEIS?
The rationale for using IDEA funds for CEIS is based on research showing that the earlier a child’s learning problems or difficulties are identified, the more quickly and effectively the problems and difficulties can be addressed and the greater the chances that the child’s problems will be ameliorated or decreased in severity. Conversely, the longer a child goes without assistance, the longer the remediation time and the more intense and costly services might be.
3. What are the reporting requirements for CEIS?
The regulations require, in 34 C.F.R. § 300.226(d), each PEA that implements CEIS to report to the State on the number of children who received CEIS and the number of those children who subsequently received special education and related services under Part B during the preceding two-year period. Student reporting for CEIS is done through AzEDS and for each school year and more information can be found in the Technical Assistance Manual for CEIS Reporting.
4. How should a PEA count and track students who received CEIS when funds are used for professional development or a school-wide intervention initiative?
It would be appropriate for a PEA to count, and subsequently internally track for two years, the number of students in need of additional support who received instruction from personnel who participated in the professional development program. It would not be appropriate to count every student who was taught by these personnel if some of the students were not in need of additional support or were already receiving special education services.
PEAs should only count the students and the personnel who participated in the activity for the fiscal year it occurred. A similar method might be used to count students who benefit from a school-wide intervention initiative supported with CEIS funds. Students who meet the PEA’s criteria of needing additional support and participate in the initiative should be counted as receiving CEIS in the fiscal year the activity occurred. Students who participate in an initiative for more than one year should be counted each year they participate. For more details, please see Examples of Fiscal and Child Tracking for Voluntary and Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS).
5. How should a PEA count and track students who received CEIS when funds are used to provide behavioral and educational evaluations?
PEAs may use CEIS funds to provide behavioral and educational evaluations to determine the supports that are needed by students to succeed in a general education environment. However, funds may not be used for evaluations that are intended for use in determining eligibility for special education and related services. Students who are evaluated to determine the supports necessary for success in a general education environment should be counted as receiving CEIS.
6. How may CEIS funds be used to implement Response to Intervention (RTI)?
CEIS funds may be used to support RTI as long as the CEIS funds are used for services to nondisabled students in need of additional academic or behavioral support and to supplement, not to supplant, other funds used to implement RTI. PEAs must ensure that CEIS funds are used to provide services only to students who need additional academic and behavioral support and not to students who currently receive special education and related services.
For example, one RTI framework includes a three-level continuum of instructional support. In this framework, tier one applies to all students in a general education setting. It would not be appropriate to use CEIS funds for tier-one activities that support these students, because these activities are designed to provide high quality instruction to the entire class or school and are not principally intended to address the needs of students who are struggling. Tier-two activities provide specialized, small-group instruction for students determined to be at risk for academic and behavioral problems. It would be appropriate to use CEIS funds to support these tier-two activities for at-risk, general education students. If students who are receiving special education and related services participate in the small group instruction, it would not be appropriate for CEIS funds to be used for these students as CEIS may not be provided to students that are currently identified as needing special education or related services. Tier three includes specialized individualized instructional or behavioral support for students with intensive needs. As in the case of tier-two activities, CEIS funds could be used for activities that support general education students at risk for academic and behavioral problems but could not be used for students who are receiving special education or related services.
7. What activities can be used with CEIS funds?
A PEA may use CEIS funds for:
Professional development for teachers and other school staff to enable such personnel to deliver scientifically based, academic interventions, including scientifically based literacy instruction and, where appropriate, instruction on the use of adaptive and instructional software.
The professional development may be provided to all personnel who are responsible for students who need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in a general education environment but who have not been identified as needing special education. Under limited circumstances, personnel who are solely responsible for students receiving special education services or students who do not need additional support may participate in professional development funded with CEIS funds. These personnel may participate so long as the cost of the professional development does not increase, the quality of the professional development does not decrease, and including those personnel would not exclude other personnel who are responsible for students who need additional support.
School guidance counselor, school psychologist, or social worker. Staff would be hired to implement behavioral interventions, progress monitoring, other CEIS evaluations, and related professional development. These positions may not deliver reading or math instruction under CEIS funding unless they also hold the appropriate endorsement to deliver reading or math instruction.
Purchasing nominal items of low value to be used as part of the coordinated delivery of academic or behavioral interventions. The items should be educational in nature. The amount charged to the CEIS grant must be reasonable and prudent. The following are not allowed as incentives: cash, cash cards, gift cards, or electronic devices (such as iPads, Kindles, etc.).
Progress monitoring of supplemental interventions provided to those students determined to need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in general education. CEIS funds may not be used for universal screening or assessment administered to all students in a grade, school, or PEA.
Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) FAQ
A PEA is required to reserve the maximum amount of funds available for comprehensive CEIS (CCEIS) if there is significant disproportionality based on race or ethnicity with respect to:
(a) The identification of children with disabilities including the identification of children in specific disability categories;
(b) The placement of children with disabilities in particular educational settings; or
(c) The incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions
9. What funds must be reserved by the PEA for CCEIS if a State determines significant disproportionality?
- Children who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment (ages 3–21)
- Children with disabilities (ages 3–21), however a PEA may not limit the provision of CCEIS to only children with disabilities.
10. How does Arizona Determine Significant Disproportionality?
Arizona examines significant disproportionality among its PEAs annually. The State examines each PEA’s three previous school years of enrollment, special education, and discipline data and identifies the PEA only when it meets all criteria for significant disproportionality for three consecutive years.
For details regarding the criteria for measuring significant disproportionality, please see Arizona’s Calculating Significant Disproportionality Infographic.
11. What are the requirements regarding activities using CCEIS funds?
CCEIS activities must:
- Address the needs of those student subgroups that were identified as the basis for causing the LEA to be identified as significantly disproportionate, but not exclusively for those student subgroups
- Focus on academic and behavioral instructional services and professional development
12. May a PEA limit CEIS solely to members of the racial or ethnic group for which significant disproportionality was identified?
No. The requirement in 34 C.F.R. § 300.646(d)(2) is to provide comprehensive CEIS to serve “children in the PEA, particularly, but not exclusively, children in those groups that were significantly overidentified.”
For example, assume a PEA’s data shows significant disproportionality in the identification of African American students as children with disabilities and that most of these students are identified in 4th and 5th grades in a majority of the PEA’s elementary schools. In this case, one appropriate way a PEA could implement CEIS would be to direct CEIS funds to all nondisabled 3rd and 4th grade children in need of additional academic or behavioral support in those schools. It would not be appropriate, however, for the PEA to limit eligibility for CEIS only to nondisabled 3rd and 4th grade African American students in those schools who needed additional academic or behavioral support.
13. What are the key differences between CEIS and CCEIS?