Target Setting Guide: Federal Requirements and OSEP Guidance

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Statute

“In general, as a part of the State performance plan described under paragraph (1), each State shall establish measurable and rigorous targets for the indicators established under the priority areas described in subsection (a)(3).” (20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A))

SPP/APR Instructions Requirements for Stakeholder Participation

The Part C State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report (Part C SPP/APR) General Instructions and the Part B State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report (Part B SPP/APR) specify, for each year that covers the years of the SPP (FFY 2020 through FFY 2025), that targets for each SPP/APR indicator must be established with broad stakeholder input.

The instructions specify the solicitation of broad stakeholder input on the targets and that any subsequent revisions must include the following elements:

Stakeholders Defined: “Individuals or groups who have invested time, money, energy, and/or interest into something. Stakeholder groups should include representation of persons who are affected by or invested in any proposed change/innovation, such as parents, personnel, administrators, or others who can provide relevant information, personal experience, or expertise to the proposed work.” (ECTA Systems Framework)
  • “The number of parent members and a description of how the parent members of the Interagency Coordinating Council/State Advisory Panel, parent center staff, parents from local and statewide advocacy and advisory committees, and individual parents were engaged in target setting, analyzing data, developing improvement strategies, and evaluating progress;
  • Description of the activities conducted to increase the capacity of diverse groups of parents to support the development of implementation of activities designed to improve outcomes for children with disabilities and their families;
  • The mechanisms and timelines for soliciting public input for target setting, analyzing data, developing improvement strategies, and evaluating progress;
  • The mechanisms and timelines for making the results of the target setting, data analysis, development of the improvement strategies, and evaluation available to the public.”

OSEP Guidance Regarding Targets and Baselines

The OSEP SPP/APR Universal Technical Assistance for FFY 2020-2025 document includes additional guidance from OSEP regarding baselines and targets:

Baselines. States are permitted to revise baseline data and, when doing so, are required to provide an explanation for the revision. OSEP expects that baseline data would be revised when there is a change in methodology or data source for the indicator that impacts comparability of the data.”

Targets. States are required to set targets that show improvement over the baseline data for the FFY 2020–2025 SPP/APR. If, based on prior year’s performance, a State decides to establish FFY 2020–2025 targets that are lower than the targets that were established from FFY 2016–2019, OSEP encourages the State to provide information regarding this decision in its narrative. Generally, targets are not approvable if they do not show improvement over baseline; however, there have been specific instances where OSEP has allowed States to set targets that do not reflect improvement over baseline.” (Page 2 of OSEP SPP/APR Universal Technical Assistance for FFY 2020-2025). However, states are encouraged to contact their OSEP state lead. (See Indicator Specific Guidance for C-2: Natural Environments and B-6: Pre-school Environments for OSEP-permitted exceptions included in this guide).

Published June 2021.