Within the context of results-driven accountability, accurate fiscal data is a critical component. The IDEA contains a number of requirements regarding state and local funds for special education and the use of federal dollars. Accurate data are necessary to ensure compliance with these fiscal requirements and to inform decisions about resource allocation and educational programs, which ultimately impact student outcomes.
The Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR) is a five-year technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) as part of an effort to assist states to report high-quality IDEA data. The goals of CIFR are to improve states’ understanding IDEA fiscal requirements related to the maintenance of state financial support (MFS), local educational agency maintenance of effort (LEA MOE), and coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) and to build state capacity to collect and report high-quality data on these requirements.
To achieve these goals, CIFR engages in several capacity-building activities, including
- providing ongoing intensive and targeted technical assistance and training to individual state educational agencies on MFS, LEA MOE, and CEIS;
- facilitating state-to-state learning and sharing of information through state communities of practice and listserv;
- developing tools and resources to assist states in understanding and implementing the IDEA fiscal requirements; and
- disseminating related information and resources through the CIFR website.