Michigan's 2020 Early On® Performance Improves for Federal Reporting

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

August 19, 2020

LANSING – The state’s performance in implementing Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), or Early On, improved this year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) reported today.

“Our statewide progress is welcome news and reflects improved systems of support among Early On providers, the Michigan Department of Education, and groups that advocate for our children with special needs,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. 

Early On is Michigan’s system for helping infants and toddlers, birth to age 3 and their families, who have developmental delays or are at risk for delays due to certain health conditions. Early On builds upon and provides supports and resources to assist family members and caregivers to enhance eligible children’s learning and development through every-day learning opportunities. 

This year, Michigan received a score of 77.7 percent for its federal determination performance rating in meeting the requirements and outcomes of IDEA, Part C for the 2018-19 program year—an increase from 75 percent for the previous program year. Both scores translate into determinations of “Needs Assistance.” The threshold for a determination of “Meets Requirements” is 80 percent.  

Federal officials use both compliance and results data to establish the score and corresponding “determination” on whether a state “meets requirements,” “needs assistance,” or “needs intervention.” Michigan scored perfectly on the data points related to compliance indicator performance data; timely and accurate state-reported data; publicly available information; and other related state compliance with IDEA for Part C. 

“We are pleased with the trajectory of growth and will continue to work to improve outcomes for every child in Michigan,” said Deputy State Superintendent Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht. “There is ongoing opportunity for improvement in Early On outcomes as we remain in the ‘Needs Assistance’ category.”

Dr. Koenigsknecht said Michigan’s determination was adversely impacted by one instance of longstanding noncompliance and by data related to child outcomes including data completeness, comparison of year-to-year data, and comparison to other states. 

Dr. Koenigsknecht said that as a result, many collaborative efforts are occurring on behalf of infants and toddlers with delays and disabilities to improve compliance and outcomes. The “Needs Assistance” determination helps MDE focus efforts and resources on some areas for improvement. 

Due to its Part C receiving the “Needs Assistance” determination for two straight years, Michigan has been advised of available sources of technical assistance that may help to address the issues. Michigan’s federal 2019 fiscal year state performance plan/annual performance report, to be submitted February 1, 2021, must report on the technical assistance sources from which assistance has been received and the actions taken as a result of that technical assistance. The actions MDE takes will involve collaborating with local service areas on improvement activities. 

“We appreciate the commitment from our partners across the education landscape in Michigan and look forward to continued growth and improvement,” Dr. Koenigsknecht said. “To become a top education state, we need to provide a quality education and growth for all children, including supports and services for infants and toddlers with special needs and their families.”