OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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OSERS Blog: Including Young Children with Disabilities in High-Quality Early Childhood Programs
The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are proposing to release a policy statement on inclusion of young children with disabilities in high-quality inclusive early childhood programs. It is the purpose of this blog to request comments on the proposed statement. Please go to the blog to review the draft policy statement and provide comments no later than 6:00pm EDT, Friday, May 22, 2015.



The 36th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Section 664(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the U.S. Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities. On Dec. 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released the 36th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2014.

The 36th Annual Report to Congress contains six major sections that address the five annual report requirements contained in section 664(d) of IDEA. Sections I and II of the report contain national data and state-level data, respectively, pertinent to Parts B and C of the IDEA. The remaining four sections of the report include: a summary and analysis of the Department of Education’s findings and determinations regarding the extent to which states are meeting the requirements of Parts B and C of the IDEA; a summary of special education research conducted under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002; a summary of national special education studies and evaluations conducted under section 664 of the IDEA; and a summary of the extent and progress of the assessment of national activities, which focus on determining the effectiveness of the IDEA and improving its implementation. You can access all these reports on the OSEP's Annual Reports page



Leveraging Federal Funding to Support All Students—Focus Group Proceedings
The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and Office of Special Education Programs have undertaken a series of activities focused on identifying opportunities to leverage federal funds to best support improved outcomes for all students. A focus group of experts drawn from State and local practitioners, including audit and business officials, as well as representatives from the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, was convened to identify ways to move the field from the current state to the preferred state of practice in leveraging funding to support all students. Attached is a document, Leveraging Federal Funding Focus Group Proceedings, that includes an overview of the process and identifies the focus group’s recommendations to the Department. Also attached is a letter to State Directors of Special Education transmitting the document.



Guidance to Ensure All Students Have Equal Access to Educational Resources

On October 1, 2014 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced guidance, in the form of a Dear Colleague letter to states, school districts and schools to ensure that students have equal access to such educational resources so that they all have an equal opportunity to succeed in school, careers and in life. The guidance, issued by the Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards set in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is one part of President Obama's larger equity agenda, including the recently announced Excellent Educators for All initiative, and takes into account the ongoing efforts of states, school districts and schools to improve equity. The guidance, fact sheet, and resources for technical assistance are also available on the Resource Comparability Materials homepage.



New Correctional Education Guidance Package, Including an OSERS Dear Colleague Letter on IDEA for Students with Disabilities in Correctional Facilities.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder announced the release of a Correctional Education Guidance Package to help states and local agencies aimed at helping states and local agencies strengthen the quality of education services provided to America’s estimated 60,000 young people in confinement every day. Included in the package is OSEP’s Dear Colleague Letter on the educational needs of students with disabilities who are in correctional facilities and the requirements of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as they apply to states, state educational agencies (SEAs), and public agencies (including local educational agencies (LEAs), and responsible noneducational public agencies) in educating these students.



Decreasing Dropout Rates for Minority Male Youth with Disabilities from Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Backgrounds
In a time when graduation rates are showing notable improvement among students of color and students with disabilities, there are still great challenges that remain. The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities has published a monograph that explores the problem of high school dropout rates among American Indian, African American, and Latino males with disabilities and provide an in-depth look into the specific obstacles that impede this young population from graduating, while offering direction and articulating crucial changes that must be made to better serve these students. Read the the monograph.



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Last Modified: 05/19/2015