Implementation of P.L. 94-142 as It Relates to Handicapped Delinquents in the District of Columbia

Gao ID: 127876 September 10, 1985

Testimony was given on the education of handicapped delinquents in the District of Columbia. As a condition for receiving assistance under the Education For All Handicapped Children Act, the District must provide assurances that all children suspected of having a handicapping condition will be identified, evaluated and, if necessary, provided special education and related services. Before the services can be provided, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed to meet each child's needs. GAO found that: (1) many handicapped delinquents in the District have not been given opportunities for special education; (2) the records of over half of the handicapped delinquents indicated a handicapping condition, but no subsequent action was taken; (3) about 63 percent of the handicapped delinquents did not have an IEP; (4) when a juvenile had an IEP developed, the program often failed to contain all the required information; (5) handicapped delinquents at District residential facilities did not receive special education because these facilities had no such services; (6) teachers at the residential facilities lacked District certification; (7) the residential facilities had no criteria for determining program eligibility or standards for identifying handicapped delinquents and failed to follow public school standards; (8) public schools do not adequately monitor the effectiveness of the programs in residential facilities; (9) follow-up services to delinquents released from residential facilities need improvement; and (10) the public schools, courts, and the residential facilities could improve coordination and information exchange.

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