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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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What's New in OSEP

New Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Accountability, State Plans, and Data Reporting
On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education proposed a rule to amend the regulations implementing programs under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to implement changes to the ESEA by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) enacted on December 10, 2015. Through the NPRM, the Department also proposes to update the current ESEA general regulations to include requirements for the submission of state plans under ESEA programs, including optional consolidated state plans. Many proposed amendments included in the NPRM impact children with disabilities, and the Department encourages public input at this time. The NPRM will be available for public comment through August 1, 2016, and can be accessed through the Federal Register.


New 2016 IDEA State Determinations
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve education for America's 7 million children with disabilities, on June 28, 2016, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released state determinations on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for Part B and Part C for fiscal year 2014, available on our GRADS 360° site. The Department made its determinations using both compliance and results data, giving each equal weight in making a state's determination. The IDEA requires each state to report annually to the Secretary on its performance under its State Performance Plan (SPP).

The State Determinations Fact Sheet (PDF, 111KB) provides information including the determination category for each state under Part B and Part C. OSEP will provide links to each state's determination letter and attachments early in July.


New Dear Colleague Letter on Children with Disabilities Residing in Nursing Homes, issued April 26, 2016
This Dear Colleague Letter [PDF, 324KB] addresses the responsibilities of states, school districts, and other public agencies in addressing the special educational needs of children with disabilities who reside in nursing homes. Although their numbers are small, their medically complex conditions present unique challenges. Accordingly, OSERS is issuing this letter to clarify that children with disabilities residing in nursing homes and their parents have the same rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that apply to all other IDEA-eligible children, and to highlight some of the IDEA requirements that are especially relevant to the needs of this unique population. This letter also identifies best practices to assist states and their public agencies in meeting the unique educational needs of these children.


New OSEP Memo 16-07—Response to Intervention (RTI) and Preschool Services, issued April 29, 2016
This OSEP Memo [PDF, 140KB] clarifies that an RTI process cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation for preschool special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Once a local education agency (LEA) receives a referral from a preschool program, the LEA must initiate the evaluation process to determine if the child is a child with a disability. An LEA may not decline a child find referral from a preschool program until the program monitors the child's developmental progress using RTI procedures.


IDEAs That Work Website
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), either directly and through its partners and grantees, develops a wide range of research-based products, publications, and resources to assist states, local district personnel, and families to improve results for students with disabilities. The IDEAs That Work website is designed to provide easy access to information from research-to-practice initiatives funded by OSEP that address the provisions of IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act. This website includes resources, links, and other important information relevant to OSEP's research to practice efforts. Please continue to check the website for new information that will be posted as it becomes available. See more at: https://www.osepideasthatwork.org


New Grants for the Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel
OSEP has awarded 17 grants under the FY 2016 competition CFDA 84.325D for the Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel. The purpose of the program is to increase the quantity of special education, early intervention, and related services personnel who have been trained at the doctoral level who can effectively carry out leadership positions in universities, SEAs, LEAs, lead agencies, or early intervention programs. The program supports two types of programs:

  • Type A programs are designed to prepare special education, early intervention, or related services personnel to serve as higher education faculty.
  • Type B programs are designed to prepare special education or early intervention administrators to work in SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs or providers, or schools.




Last Modified: 07/05/2016