Early Childhood Integrated Financing Toolkit

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (preschool special education)

Federal Funding Streams: Requirements and Detailed Information
Federal Agency: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
Federal Funding for VA: $6,733,263 (Part B, Section 619) (FY19)
What Are the Main Requirements?
How do Federal Funds Flow?
Part B guarantees a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities and ensures special education and related services to qualifying children.
“FAPE” means special education and related services that:
are provided at public expense, under public supervision and
direction, and without charge;
meet the standards of the Virginia Board of Education;
include an appropriate pre-, elementary, middle, or secondary
school education in the state; and
are provided in keeping with an individualized education program
“Special Education” means specially-designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. It includes instruction conducted in a classroom, home, hospital, institution, or other setting at no cost to the parent.
“Related Services” means developmental, corrective, or supportive services required for a child with a disability to benefit from special education (for example, physical therapy, speech language pathology, and transportation are all related services).


When a child is suspected of having a disability, a written referral or an oral request for evaluation is given to the school. The school evaluates the child to determine whether s/he has a disability as well as the nature and extent of the disability. Based on the results of the evaluation, a team decides if the child is eligible to receive special education and related services. To be found eligible, the team must decide that the child has a disability and as a result needs special education and related services. The child is eligible for special education if s/he meets criteria for one or more of the 13 disability categories recognized in Virginia.


Part B serves children 3 through age 5; in Virginia, children who are 2 years of age by Sept. 30 of the school year are also eligible.


Cost to Families:
No cost to families.


Federal law requires that children with disabilities be served, to the maximum extent appropriate, with children who are not disabled. Part B eligible children may be served in a variety of settings, including public or private preschool programs, Head Start programs, child care facilities, and the home.


Quality Standards:
Federal and state regulations provide specific requirements for state implementation of IDEA. Federal regulations can be found here:
State regulations can be found here:
Federal funds are awarded according to formula grants to state agencies. Part B is administered by the VA Department of Education (DOE).


Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to serve children aged 3-5 who are determined to have a disability and require special education and related services. In the state of Virginia, children aged 2 (if 2 by September 30 of current school year) may also be served in Part B.


Virginia is the only state that includes 2-year-olds in Part B. Federal Part B funding does not cover the 2-year-olds; they are served either through early intervention or early childhood special education depending upon parent choice.


The majority of Part B funding must be distributed through Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the state. The flow through funds are used to provide programs to support children with disabilities in preschool programs. An LEA may use both 619 and 611 funds to support preschool-aged children. A portion of the funding stays at DOE for discretionary funds:
(eg., personnel, professional development, materials, travel).


In Virginia, the formula for determining funding per division is based upon a child count from 1998.