Special education programs office awards new, legacy grants

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON (Oct. 29, 2018) — The Department of Education recently awarded grants for new and legacy investments to centers that support infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) distributed these grants awards under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part D, which authorizes formula and discretionary grants.

OSEP issued recompete announcements, and the following centers received grants to continue work on legacy investments:

  • National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
    • Awarded to the University of Oregon
    • Currently known as PBIS
  • National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center for Children who are Deaf-Blind
  • Center on Dispute Resolution
    • Awarded to Direction Service
    • Currently known as CADRE
  • Center for Parent Information and Resources
    • Awarded to the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey, Inc.
    • Currently known as CPIR

OSEP awarded new investments to projects that will focus on early childhood education. Those investments include:

You can view all of OSEP’s Part D investments using the OSEP Discretionary Grants Database.

 

Rethinking special education and rehabilitative services: Raising expectations and improving outcomes for individuals with disabilities

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON (Sept. 20, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a framework of his office’s special education and rehabilitative services priorities today.

Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett said the framework communicates how OSERS will focus its work to advance Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ priorities and continue to progress its mission “to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities and the nation.”

The framework prioritizes rethinking all aspects of how OSERS serves infants, toddlers, children, youth and adults with disabilities. It highlights OSERS’ commitment to support states in their work to raise expectations and improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities; provide states flexibility to implement their programs within the constructs of the law; and partner with parents, individuals with disabilities, and diverse stakeholders.

“This will require an unwavering commitment to address barriers that stand in the way of improving opportunities and outcomes for each person with a disability and to make needed changes at the federal, state and local levels,” Collett said.

As an example of OSERS’ commitment to its framework, Collett addressed the need to rethink special education in a blog that highlights the importance of acknowledging the individual needs of each child to find the best way to prepare each individual for successful careers and a meaningful life.

“We must be willing to rethink special education in our country and to question anything and everything we are doing to ensure we are in the best position to serve students,” Collett said. “This work is too important, the need is too urgent and the stakes are too high for us to settle for anything less than whatever it takes to deliver on the promises we have made to children and families in our country.”

View OSERS’ new framework

View Assistant Secretary Collett’s blog on rethinking special education

Department releases 2018 determination letters on state implementation of the IDEA

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released its 2018 state determinations on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of Part B and Part C for fiscal year 2016 June 26 and 28.

The 2004 amendments to the IDEA require each state to develop a State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR) that evaluates the state’s efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of the IDEA, and describes how the state will improve its implementation.

The IDEA details four categories for the Secretary of Education’s determinations. A state’s determination may be:

  • Meets the requirements and purposes of IDEA;
  • Needs assistance in implementing the requirements of IDEA;
  • Needs intervention in implementing the requirements of IDEA; or
  • Needs substantial intervention in implementing the requirements of IDEA.

View 2018 Determination Letters Fact Sheet (Revised July 24, 2018)

View 2018 SPP/APRs Part B and Part C

OSERS posts new letter on IEPs and independent education evaluations

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON, DC (July 3, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Education released a letter responding to a request for guidance regarding the placement status of a child with a disability June 28.

The requester wanted to know if special education and related service must continue to be provided to a child whose parents have sought an independent education evaluation at the public’s expense after the child’s individualized education program team conducted a reevaluation and found the child no longer eligible for these services.

View the June 28, 2018 letter

View all policy guidance

Regulation postponed two years to ensure effective implementation

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON, DC (July 3, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Education published a final rule postponing the department’s significant disproportionality regulation by two years on July 3.

The department has postponed the compliance date for implementing the significant disproportionality regulations from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2020. The department has also postponed the date children ages 3 through 5 must be included in the analysis of significant disproportionality from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022.

“We have postponed the compliance date in order to thoroughly review the significant disproportionality regulations and ensure that they effectively address the issue of significant disproportionality and best serve children with disabilities,” according to a department message sent to stakeholders June 29.

The department published the original regulation Dec. 19, 2016, and it issued a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking to postpone the compliance date Feb. 27, 2018.

“This review is part of the Department’s regulatory reform activities pursuant to Executive Order 13777, ‘Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,’” according to the department’s message. “It is important to note that states must continue to meet their statutory obligation to make annual determinations as to whether significant disproportionality exists in their LEAs [local education agencies].”

View final rule postponing compliance date

View notice of proposed rule making to postpone compliance date

View original regulation

OSERS launches IDEA website tutorials

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2018) – The Department of Education launched two tutorial videos about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website April 27.

The videos provide users with an overview of the IDEA site and the statute and regulations page so they can get the most out of the site’s features.

IDEA Website Overview Video

IDEA Website Statute/Regulations Video

 

OSERS seeks public input regarding IDEA data collection, technical assistance to states

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 26, 2018) — The U.S. Department of Education announced it would seek input from the public regarding some data required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) April 24.

The department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will gather feedback from the public until May 24, 2018 on how best to provide technical assistance to states when it comes to collecting and reporting data required by IDEA Part B, Section 618 and Section 616.

State educational agencies (SEAs) and state lead agencies (LAs) currently receive technical assistance on IDEA Part B and C data collection through OSERS-reserved funds under IDEA Part B Section 616(i).

To learn more about this effort and to provide comment, visit the OSERS’ Blog.

OSERS posts four new letters

WASHINGTON, DC (April 26, 2018) – The Department of Education posted four new letters April 18-19.

The four letters were related to the Individualized Education Programs (IEP) team, state complaints procedures, preschool IEPs, and special education and related services.

To view the most recent letters as well as previous letters, view the Policy Guidance page.

OSERS assistant secretary talks special education

WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2018) — Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett and the National Center for Learning Disabilities Vice President and Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Lindsay Jones talked about the March 2017 Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, teacher professional development related to special education, the U.S. Department of Educations’ role, regulatory reform efforts, and more during an April 18 interview.

“OSERS really is unique… one reason is we really get the opportunity to impact across the life of an individual with a disability, so really birth through adulthood including post-secondary opportunities and certainly our goal of competitive integrated employment for individuals,” Collett said. “That opportunity to impact across the life of an individual is just something that’s incredibly unique and really something I am struck by every day.”

Hear more from Assistant Secretary Collett in his recorded video interview, which was part of Understood’s “Chat with an Expert” series.

Department proposes two-year postponement of significant disproportionality regulations implementation

WASHINGTON (Feb. 27, 2018)—The U.S. Department of Education published a notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the Department’s significant disproportionality regulations in the Federal Register for comment Feb. 27.

The department has proposed to postpone compliance of the Dec. 19, 2016 regulations for two years by changing the compliance date from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2020.

The department also proposed to postpone the date children ages three through five must be included in the analysis of significant disproportionality from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022.

“We are proposing to postpone the compliance date in order to thoroughly review the significant disproportionality regulations and ensure that that they effectively address the issue of significant disproportionality and best serve children with disabilities. This analysis is part of the Department’s Regulatory Reform activities pursuant to Executive Order 13777, ‘Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,’” said the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in an email to state special education directors and other OSERS’ stakeholders Feb. 27.

The 75-day comment period on the proposed postponement begins Feb. 27.

Those interested in submitting comments can do so online at www.regulations.gov, which also has instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments and viewing documents.

Commenters can also submit hard copy comments via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. The notice of proposed rulemaking contains specific instructions for submitting hard copy comments.

View Notice of Proposed Rulemaking