Policy Letters and Policy Support Documents

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issues written guidance to support the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Policy Letters

OSEP’s policy letters provide written guidance and clarification regarding implementation of the IDEA. OSEP typically issues these letters in response to specific questions raised by parents, educators, representatives of advocacy organizations, state educational agencies, early intervention programs and their providers, and other interested parties.

Policy Support Documents

OSEP issues broader written guidance in the form of memos, Dear Colleague Letters, or frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents, as determined appropriate, based on:

  • Information gathered through OSEP’s oversight of implementation of the IDEA by state educational agencies and Part C lead agencies.
  • Stakeholder-identified needs for clarification of the IDEA’s provisions.
  • Needs identified due to new statutory or regulatory provisions or court cases.

Search Policy Letters and Policy Support Documents

Some documents have been redacted to protect the privacy rights of individuals or the children for whom they contacted the Department seeking written guidance.

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