OSEP Update | January 2024

A Newsletter for OSEP Grantees and Interested Stakeholders

In This Issue:

From the Director

Message From OSEP Director Valerie C. Williams

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope you are as excited as I am for the new year and all the opportunities it brings.  Just like last year, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has ambitious goals, with plans for guidance on a range of issues, expanded technical assistance and an awesome OSEP Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference on Aug. 6-8.  I’m also looking forward to providing you with updates on our work throughout the year, but I want to do one last look back at 2023.

Last October, the National Council of State Legislatures posted the Top 10 Education Trends for 2023. The posting described state legislative actions designed to improve the education of our nation’s children. In examining the list, I’m pleased to see that both the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” initiative and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Assistant Secretary Glenna Wright-Gallo’s focus on instructional leadership are aligned with the legislative initiatives at many statehouses across the country. Trends such as “Boosting the Teaching Profession,” “Supporting Student and Educator Mental Health,” and “Expanding Career Pathways” are front and center for us as well. Look no further than the Department’s policy brief on Eliminating Educator Shortages through Increasing Educator Diversity and Addressing High-need Shortage Areas and the emphasis on Mental Health and Wellbeing and Postsecondary and Career Pathways. Each of these priorities can have a huge impact on the delivery of early intervention and special education services for children with disabilities.

At OSEP we’re looking forward to continued collaborations to support this work, whether with other offices within Department, other federal agencies, or state and local partners. 

I want to close by announcing that Dr. Larry Wexler, OSEP’s Research to Practice (RTP) division director, is retiring this month. Larry has been in the field of special education for over 50 years, and prior to becoming the RTP division director, Larry was a:

  • Teacher of students with significant disabilities.
  • Principal.
  • State specialist for intellectual disabilities.
  • Chief of staff for the state director of special education.
  • Director of state monitoring.
  • OSEP project officer.
  • Deputy director of the Monitoring and State Improvement Planning Division.
  • Associate division director responsible for OSEP’s National Initiatives Team.

Larry has also represented the Department on behalf of the United Nations and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.  I know that he is looking forward to playing more golf and spending time with his family — especially his grandson. Congratulations Larry!

In Solidarity,


Dose of Data

Did You Know?

The numbers of children with disabilities, birth through age 21, served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), in the U.S., Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated States have steadily increased from a little over 7.5 million served in 2018 to over 8 million served in 2022.

Number of Children with Disabilities, Birth Through 21, Served Under IDEA, in the US, Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated States: 2018-19 through 2022-23

To further explore this data visualization, please see January Dose of Data.

New IDEA Section 618 Data Files

OSEP has released 10 new 2021-22/ 2022 data files on ED’s Open Data Platform. For ease of navigation, please refer to OSEP’s IDEA Section 618 Data Products website to access the data files:

  • SY 2021-22 Part B Assessment.
  • SY 2022-23 Part B Child Count and Educational Environments.
  • SY 2021-22 Part B Discipline.
  • SY 2021-22 Part B Dispute Resolution.
  • SY 2021-22 Part B Exiting.
  • FFY 2021/ SY 2021-22 LEA MOE Reduction and CEIS.
  • SY 2021-22 Part B Personnel.
  • 2022-23 Part C Child Count and Settings.
  • 2021-22 Part C Dispute Resolution.
  • 2021-22 Part C Exiting.

Additionally, OSEP has released the data notes and data file documentation associated with each of these data files. Please find this documentation linked to the file on the “Resources” tab for each collection.

In the coming months, OSEP will release the static tables associated with these data files. These static tables will provide commonly used percentages associated with the IDEA Section 618 data. We will send a notification when the static tables have been posted.

As a reminder, the IDEA Section 618 data are displayed and published in a number of other user-friendly forms in the following locations:

If you have any questions, please contact OSEP’s RTP Data Team at osepIDEAdata@ed.gov.

Expect, Engage, and Empower: Successful Transitions for All!

Save the Date!

icon -- Expect, Engage, and Empower -- Successful Transitions for All!

The OSERS initiative “Expect, Engage, and Empower: Successful Transitions for All!” will host the second session for the 2023-2024 OSEP Symposium Series, Beyond the IDEA and WIOA requirements: Knowing what to expect when it matters! virtually, Feb. 28, 1-2:30 p.m. ET! 

Watch the first event for the symposium series here.

If you haven’t already, click the button below to register. 

Register Here

Additional updates will continue to be posted on OSEP’s Expect, Engage, Empower: Successful Transition for All homepage. We thank you in advance for your efforts toward this endeavor and look forward to you joining us.


Please email the planning team at OSEP-EEE@air.org with any questions.


Technical Assistance Calls

OSEP’s monthly TA calls are intended for OSEP grantees. The registration links and recorded content are available on the MSIP program page of the IDEAs That Works website. The OSEP monthly TA calls generally occur on the second and/or fourth Thursdays of the month at 4 p.m. ET. Check the OSEP monthly TA call for the schedule of topics and registration links.

OSERS Assistant Secretary Glenna Wright-Gallo’s priorities were covered during the Jan. 11 call and the recording will be available soon.

State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports

The federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022 Part B and C SPP/APR submission period opened in the APR Tool on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, and will close on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 11:59 p.m. local time. SPP/APR Resources (including the SPP/APR memos, SPP/APR instructions, measurement tables, etc.) are posted on our IDEA website.

IDEA Part B/C Grants

The Part C grant application package expired on Dec. 31, 2023. OSEP is waiting on final Office of Management and Budget approval of the new package after completing all of the public comment requirements. OSEP will notify states when the application materials have been approved and will prepare the documents for the FFY 2024 grant application package.

Differentiated Monitoring and Support 

DMS icon

OSEP monitors all IDEA Part C and B programs through its Differentiated Monitoring and Support 2.0 system (DMS 2.0). DMS 2.0 is a cyclical monitoring process that focuses on states’ general supervision systems. To review monitoring reports, resources, and other support documents related to our monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS reports, and older monitoring reports), please refer to the DMS section on our IDEA website.

ED Updates

Research Highlights from the National Center for Special Education Research

The Institute for Education Science’s National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) funds research designed to expand knowledge and understanding of learners with and at risk for disabilities, from infancy through postsecondary settings. We share a report below on findings related to special education.

The Impact of Parent-Mediated Early Intervention on Social Communication for Children with Autism presents an interview with Dr. Schertz on her continuing line of research aimed at developing and testing the efficacy of a parent-mediated intervention that promotes social communication in toddlers with autism.

News From Our Centers

icon - Center on Inclusive Technology and Education Systems (CITES)

State Education Agency Nominations Open: Inclusive Tech Implementation

Nominate a state today! The Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES) has opened nominations for SEAs to help CITES connect with and support local education agencies (LEAs).

CITES aims to empower school districts to build and maintain technology systems that include every student, particularly children and youth with disabilities who require assistive technology and accessible materials.

The framework can be integrated with technology and instructional efforts already in place, bringing together experts and coaches at various levels to assist local teams in making and maintaining inclusive technology systems. The framework is aligned with the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) and built on evidence-based practices. CITES needs to test the framework and, as a part of that process, CITES will be working with two SEAs that will help CITES identify two LEAs within their states and provide input and support for CITES implementation.

Share this opportunity and/or nominate a state. Self-nominations are welcome. The deadline is Feb. 1.

Reach out to the CITES team with any questions at cites@cast.org.

New Generate Release Timeline From CIID

icon - Center for the Integration of IDEA Data (CIID)

Do you ever wonder what is coming next in terms of EDFacts due dates for IDEA Part B data files and when the Generate release for that file will be?

The full PDF of the timeline is now available.

SEA teams using Generate can use this timeline to help plan data file creation and submission. The timeline will be updated as new dates are announced.

New From DaSy: Embedding Equity in the Data Inquiry Cycle

This new guide by the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) supports IDEA Part C and Part B 619 program staff to address equity considerations at each stage of the data inquiry cycle.

The guide incorporates key components of the DaSy Data Systems Framework and the DaSy Racial Equity Statement to help states, territories, and Tribal governments move toward more equitable practices related to program access, supports and services, and outcomes.

The guide also complements other DaSy resources, such as the Data Leadership Competencies for Part C and Part B 619 and the Data Culture Toolkit, to support equity in the everyday data practices of state programs.

What Does Meaningful Assessment Accessibility Mean?

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) recently published the proceedings of a forum held in New Orleans to discuss issues surrounding meaningful accessibility of assessments. The goal of the forum was to gather representatives from SEAs, assessment vendors, assistive technology experts, and others to discuss the meaningful accessibility of assessments and to identify possible solutions to the challenges that students face when accessing assessments.

Personnel Development Resources

FIVE New or Updated Modules From the IRIS Center

The IRIS Center has released a new module, Behavior Principles: The Basics of Understanding Student Behavior. The content in this module lays a conceptual foundation for one of IRIS’ more popular modules: Functional Behavioral Assessment: Identifying the Reasons for Problem Behavior and Developing a Behavior Plan.

In addition, IRIS has made significant revisions to four of its existing modules:

These self-paced, online modules can be embedded in educator preparation courses and school or district professional development activities, and learners can earn a free Certificate of Completion for each one.

Professional Development.

In Case You Missed It!

Early Childhood Transition Q-&-A Released

On Nov. 28, 2023, OSEPreleased the 2023 Early Childhood Transition Question and Answer (EC Transition Q-&-A).

The purpose of the EC Transition Q-&-A is to assist state lead agencies, early intervention services (EIS) program and providers, SEAs, and LEAs in ensuring a seamless transition for children with disabilities who received EIS under IDEA Part C to eligibility for and receipt of preschool services under IDEA Part B.  

Alternate Assessment Disproportionality Calculator

Students who do not have the most significant cognitive disabilities may sometimes be inappropriately assigned to participate in the alternate assessment.

There is concern that a disproportionate percentage of students from some subgroups may be over-identified as having a most significant cognitive disability and inappropriately assigned to this assessment.

To address this need, the NCEO developed the Disproportionality in the Alternate Assessment Calculator: A Tool for State and Local Education Agencies.

Participation data for groups of interest (e.g., race/ethnicity, economically disadvantaged, English learner status, chronic absenteeism) can be entered for a state or local education agency. The tool then calculates the risk ratio for participation in the alternate assessment, which is a way to describe the relationship between observed versus expected proportions.

NCEO Tool 12 - Disproportionality in the Alternate Assessment Calculator: A Tool for State and Local Education Agencies - 1% Toolkit

Get to Know Us Better

Connect With OSEP Online

Want to connect with OSEP? We have many opportunities for you!

Social Media: Find information on OSERS’ social media accounts, including X (Twitter), the OSERS Blog and YouTube.

Learn More About OSEP

OSEP is leading the nation’s efforts to improve outcomes for children with disabilities from birth through age 21 and their families, ensuring access to fair, equitable, and high-quality education and services. Our vision is for a world in which individuals with disabilities have unlimited opportunities to learn and lead purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Visit these sites to learn more about OSEP, SEAs, and OSEP-funded TA centers:

OSEP home page: Visit the OSEP landing page on ED’s website.

Federal and state contacts: Find general overview information about federal and state contacts, including links to state special education departments and state early intervention and early childhood special education programs.

IDEA by State: Find your SEA’s contact information on file with ED and OSEP’s contacts for your state.

Resource Centers: Learn about the types of centers funded by ED and OSEP that are relevant to the IDEA.

OSEP IDEAs That Work: Find federal resources for stakeholders and grantees.

If you have questions or comments, send them to Dr. Josiah Willey at josiah.willey@ed.gov.

This newsletter may reference and contain links to external sources. The opinions expressed in these sources do not reflect the views, positions, or policies of the Department of Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.

Suspension, Severe Discrepancy
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Last modified on February 12, 2024