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

Department to automatically redirect old IDEA site traffic to new IDEA site April 30

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON (Feb. 2, 2018)—The Department of Education will automatically direct users from the Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 site to the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website starting April 30, 2018.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) launched the new IDEA website in June 2017 in order to provide updated department information regarding the IDEA to the public including students, parents/families, educators, service providers and advocates.

The Legacy site was developed in 2006 as a result of the 2004 reauthorization of the IDEA. The site was updated mostly between 2006 and 2011 and had not received updates since 2013.

While the Legacy site will redirect users to the new IDEA site on April 30, content from the Legacy site is available for reference on the new IDEA website on the Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 historical reference page.

OSERS determined it would leave the Legacy site live after the new site launched to provide stakeholders ample time to compare the two sites, adapt to the new site and provide feedback to OSERS.

OSERS has made updates to the site based on the feedback it received from stakeholders since the initial launch of the new IDEA website and will continue to gather feedback on the OSERS Blog.

OSERS will continue to enhance and add content to the new IDEA website to ensure the new site remains current.

IDEA website users are encouraged to bookmark the new IDEA website: https://sites.ed.gov/idea.

OSERS requests users still referring people to the Legacy site through their personal or organizational websites, social media accounts, communication documents, or other means update their communication channels to direct people to the new IDEA website.

 

Submit comments at the OSERS Blog

Read transcript from Feb. 2 Stakeholder Call

View the Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 historical reference page

View the Department of Education’s June press release about the IDEA website

Department Welcomes Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Assistant Secretary

WASHINGTON (Jan. 26, 2018)—The U.S. Department of Education welcomed Johnny Collett, the new U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Jan. 16.

Collett, a former high school special education teacher, has served as the program director of Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and as the Kentucky state special education director.

Collett has also served as an assistant division director and exceptional children consultant both at the Kentucky Department of Education.

Collett will lead OSERS towards 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.

OSERS comprises the Office of Special Education Programs, which administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Rehabilitation Service Administration, which administers titles I, III, VI, and VII, as well as Section 509 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). OSERS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary administers a number of special projects.

To learn more about Collett, view his bio.