LRE Desk Audit
The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is responsible for ensuring local educational agency (LEA) compliance with state and federal special education statutes and rules. The IDOE meets this responsibility, in part, by conducting special education focused monitoring through desk audits. Through these audits, IDOE examines and evaluates local policies, procedures, and other documentation; provides information and assistance to school corporations; and otherwise assists school corporations in operating effectively and efficiently.
Documentation:Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Desk Audit Information
Results*: Issued in July
*LEAs may be chosen to participate in an LRE Onsite Monitoring Visit based on the results of the LRE Desk Audit. These LEAs will be notified 30 days prior to onsite visit.
All school corporations are evaluated through the application of a six-step criteria process which involves a combination of internal desk audits and on-site monitoring visits during the current school year:
- School corporations are placed in categories based on population. They were eliminated if they had < 1,000 pupil population per school corporation. Charter Schools were not held to a population requirement.
- School corporations are selected based on the data reported on the DOE-SE (Special Education) report (December 1 child count) that falls below the state target on Indicator 5 which addresses LRE placement categories.
- A sampling of school corporations are selected from each population category based on yearly monitoring cycle (available on the Monitoring page).
- Individual school buildings within the corporations selected are identified that fall below the state target in the LRE placement categories.
- A desk audit is conducted for all school corporations who fit the previous four steps.
- School corporations who scored in the “needs improvement” category on the Desk Audit Rubric are selected for a focused onsite monitoring visit and are notified 30 days prior to their visit.
A Letter of Desk Audit is sent to school corporations who were identified in step 4 of the 6 step process, and they are required to submit the following documents:
- Desk audit questionnaire completed by each building principal (example below)
- Staff development the corporation has attended or provided involving LRE
- The corporation’s policies and procedures as it relates to Special Education
- Additional documents that have been provided to staff regarding the corporation’s special education programs and its focus on LRE from the requested school year.
- Special Education Teachers need to complete a six-question survey regarding special education practices in the district
The documents are reviewed and scored on a rubric and each corporation receive a rating of one of the following categories: Meets Requirements, Needs Minimal Assistance, and Needs Improvement.
Information and Guidance
- Each LEA is on a yearly rotation for monitoring LRE, Fiscal Audits, and Procedural Audits. The rotation list is available on the Monitoring page.
- Example of a Questionnaire a school corporation must complete and return when selected for a Desk Audit.
- Desk Audit Rubric used to evaluate a school corporation's LRE submission.
- LRE Monitoring IEP Review Rubric used to assess Individual Education Programs (IEPs) of the school corporations selected for a Desk Audit.
- How the LEA Audits affect Local Determinations: Description of points included in the calculation of an LEA's Local Determination based on findings issued as a result fo the LRE Desk Audit, Procedural Audit, or Fiscal Audit.