Prior Approval FAQ Released for Formula Grant Recipients

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 29, 2019) – The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released a frequently asked questions document for its formula grant recipients today.

“This document is non-binding and does not create or impose new legal requirements. The department is issuing it in this document on an ‘interim’ basis to provide grantees with immediate information to assist them in meeting their obligations under Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,” said Mark Schultz, who has been delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for OSERS. “We intend to publish this further and invite public comments.”

The FAQ document details prior approval flexibilities for two direct cost categories – participant support costs and equipment – for state formula grants administered by the Office of Special Education Programs and the Rehabilitation Services Administration both within OSERS, according to Schultz.

View FAQ Document PDF

Last modified on October 29, 2019

OSERS posts two new letters and a Q-and-A in September

WASHINGTON, DC (Oct. 2, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Education released two letters responding to requests for guidance and a question-and-answer document related to transition in September.

The documents address evaluation/reevaluation, individualized education programs of children placed in certain preschool programs, and transition and dual enrollment.

Letter on evaluation/reevaluation, IEPs and student involvement

Letter on IEP development for children placed in certain preschool programs

Q&A: Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth with Disabilities

View all policy guidance

Last modified on October 2, 2019

Department Releases 2019 Determination Letters on State Implementation of the IDEA

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON (July 9, 2019) — The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released its 2019 state determinations on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of Part B and Part C for fiscal year 2017.

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 2019 Determination Letters Fact Sheet

View 2019 SPP/APRs Part B and Part C

OSERS posts four new letters in May

WASHINGTON, DC (May 31, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Education released four letters responding to requests for guidance throughout May.

The letters address independent education evaluation, due process hearings, evaluation/reevaluation and prior written notice.

Letter on a parent’s right to an independent education evaluation

Letter on evaluation/reevaluation and prior written notice related to functional vision assessment by an optometrist

Letter on individualized education programs and whether school district may invite an observer to an IEP Team meeting

Letter addressing questions on due process hearings procedures

View all policy guidance

Notice of Appeal in COPAA v. DeVos

WASHINGTON, DC (May 24, 2019) –The U.S. Department of Education released the following statement about significant disproportionality May 22:

“On May 6, 2019, the Department of Justice filed a Notice of Appeal in COPAA v. DeVos. The filing of this Notice of Appeal does not stay the district court order or alter the fact that the December 19, 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant disproportionality is currently in effect.”

Calculating Significant Disproportionality

WASHINGTON, DC (May 21, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Education released the following statement about significant disproportionality May 20:

“Pursuant to the plain language of the December 19, 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant disproportionality, and in conjunction with the March 7, 2019 decision in COPAA v. Devos, the Department expects States to calculate significant disproportionality for the 2018–2019 school year using the 2016 rule’s standard methodology, or to recalculate using the 2016 rule’s standard methodology if a different methodology has already been used for this school year.”

Update on Judicial Decision Regarding Significant Disproportionality

WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2019)

From the Department of Education:

“We want to make you aware of the March 7, 2019 judicial decision in COPAA v. DeVos that vacated the 2018 regulation delaying implementation of the December 19, 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant disproportionality. The Department is reviewing the ruling and considering our options. This judicial decision means that the 2016 regulation is currently in effect. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) staff is collecting information from States about the status of implementation and discussing how to assist with any issues that may arise. If you have additional questions or concerns, please communicate directly with your OSEP State contact.”

Last modified on April 5, 2019

OSERS posts four new letters in January

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 13, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Education released four letters responding to requests for guidance Jan. 29.

The letters address students with disabilities in correctional facilities, discipline procedures, children with disabilities place in private schools by their parents, and response to intervention.

Letter on students with disabilities in correctional facilities

Letter on discipline procedures

Letter on children with disabilities place in private schools by their parents

Letter on response to intervention

View all policy guidance

Last modified on February 13, 2019

U.S. Department of Education Announces Initiative to Address the Inappropriate Use of Restraint and Seclusion to Protect Children with Disabilities, Ensure Compliance with Federal Laws

By the U.S. Department of Education

WASHINGTON (Jan. 17, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that the U.S. Department of Education will launch an initiative to address the possible inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in partnership with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), will oversee this proactive approach which will protect students with disabilities by providing technical assistance and support to schools, districts, and state education agencies, and strengthen enforcement activities.

See Press Release

Last modified on January 17, 2019

Department publishes 2018 Annual Report to Congress on nation’s progress related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON (Dec. 20, 2018) —The U.S. Department of Education published its 2018 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) annual report to Congress this week.

The 40th Annual Report to Congress focuses on children and student with disabilities who received services specific to IDEA Part C for infants and toddlers or IDEA Part B for children and youth.

The report summarizes U.S. progress in:

  1. providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C,
  2. ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected,
  3. assisting states and localities in providing for the education of all children with disabilities, and
  4. assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.

Read the 40th Annual Report to Congress preface or download the report.

Last modified on December 20, 2018