The New EDFacts Collection Package: Where to Begin
This is the first installment in our monthly blog series on EDFacts modernization covering topics surrounding the modernization and how it affects the process of collecting and reporting high-quality special education data.
You may have heard that the EDFacts Information Collection Package for SY2022–23, 2023–24, and 2024–25 is now available. You may even have already begun to explore everything it has to offer. Or maybe, just maybe, you may now be wondering where to begin.
Where indeed? The answer to that question is to first familiarize yourself with what has changed, including Section 618 data technical corrections, revisions to data collection categories, and the addition of some brand-new elements to the collections.
Let’s start with the technical corrections. These clarify a collection but don’t represent a change in guidance. A review of the documentation related to 618 data collections shows that there are three technical corrections in the new package, specifically updates to the data-group definitions for Child Count file specifications FS002—Children with Disabilities (IDEA) School Age, FS089—Children with Disabilities (IDEA) Early Childhood and Discipline file specifications FS005—Children with Disabilities (IDEA) Removal to Interim Alternative Educational Setting. If your state’s documentation references the data group definitions for these file specifications, some updating is probably in order. Fortunately, any such changes should not require you to alter your data-collection or submission processes.
Revisions to the data-collection categories appear for 618 Personnel file specifications FS070—Special Education Teachers (FTE) and FS112—Special Education Paraprofessionals. These changes refine the definition of the age group categories from personnel who serve children and students ages 3–5 and 6–21 to children and students ages 3 through 5 (not in kindergarten) and ages 5 (in kindergarten) through 21. And, though guidance in the file specification was previously updated and likely will not require any updates, it’s always a good practice to review related documentation to avoid confusion!
A third change in the package comes in the form of new items. These may require technical changes or the collection of new data for Assessment and MOE Reduction and CEIS collections. In the case of the Assessment data collection, OSEP has created new file specifications and retired the previous file specifications. The new file specifications are broken up into one grouping for grades 3–8 and another for high school. Further, the new grade-specific files will collect data on multiple assessment types and on a new category set that collects race/ethnicity by disability status. The titles of the file specifications are as follows (note that file specification numbers have yet to be assigned):
- Assessment Participation in Mathematics Grades 3–8
- Assessment Participation in Reading/Language Arts Grades 3–8
- Assessment Participation in Mathematics HS
- Assessment Participation in Reading/Language Arts HS
- Academic Achievement in Mathematics Grades 3–8
- Academic Achievement in Reading/Language Arts Grades 3–8
- Academic Achievement in Mathematics HS
- Academic Achievement in Reading/Language Arts HS
In addition, beginning in SY 2023–24, the MOE Reduction and CEIS collection will add two new questions designed to capture the number of children with and without disabilities receiving Comprehensive CEIS or CCEIS:
- Number of children with disabilities receiving CCEIS under IDEA in the (reference year).
- Number of children without disabilities receiving CCEIS under IDEA in (the reference year).
As you review and prepare to collect and report these data, your IDC State Liaison is ready to assist with any questions you may have. Meanwhile, happy exploring.
- Audrey Rudick