The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that states establish advisory panels to advise and assist the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) on special education and related services for children with disabilities. The SAPEC members represent various agencies, individuals with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, service providers and administrators.
The SAPEC has several duties outlined in federal regulation, including:
- Advise the Department of Education of unmet needs within Kentucky in the education of children with disabilities;
- Review and comment on rules or regulations proposed by the Commonwealth relating to the education of children with disabilities;
- Advise the KDE in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the U.S. Secretary of Education under section 618 of the Act;
- Advise the KDE in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in Federal monitoring reports under Part B of the Act; and
- Advise the KDE in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities.
The State Advisory Panel shall consist of up to twenty-one voting members appointed by the Governor, the majority of whom shall be persons with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities ages birth through 26. The Governor shall appoint members that meet the following minimum qualifications:
- At least two Parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26);
- At least two Individuals with disabilities;
- At least two Teachers;
- At least two Representatives of institutions of higher education that prepare special education and related services personnel;
- At least one State education official and one local education official, 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.);
- At least two Administrators of programs for children with disabilities;
- At least two Representatives of other State agencies involved in the financing or delivery of related services to children with disabilities;
- At least one Representative of private schools and one Representative of public charter schools (please note, Kentucky does not have operating charter schools, so a second private school representative will be chosen);
- One representative of a vocational, community, or business organization concerned with the provision of transition services to children with disabilities;
- A representative from the State child welfare agency responsible for foster care; and
- A Representative from the State juvenile agency and a Representative of the adult corrections agency.