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



New! Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States
Fact sheet provides information to help education leaders better understand the responsibilities of states and local educational agencies in connection with such students, and the existing resources available to help educate all immigrant students—including children who recently arrived in the United States.

(08/27/2014)

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New! 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 June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released the following reports:

The 32nd through 35th Annual Reports to Congress contain 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 these reports on the OSEP's Annual Reports page.

(08/21/2014)

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New! IDEA Data Management Center (CFDA No. 84.373M)
On Monday, August 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate an IDEA Data Management Center (CFDA No. 84.373M).

  • Notice of final priority:
     PDF (216KB).
  • Notice inviting applications:
     PDF (216KB).

The purpose of this center is to achieve, at a minimum, the following expected outcomes:

  1. improve states’ data management procedures and data systems architecture to build data files and reports to improve states’ capacity to meet the Part B reporting requirements under sections 616 and 618 of IDEA; and
     
  2. improve states’ capacity to utilize their work with source systems (e.g., statewide longitudinal data systems to report high-quality data under IDEA Part B as required under sections 616 and 618 of IDEA.

The application package is available beginning on Aug. 5, 2014 and the deadline for submitting completed applications is Sep. 4, 2014

(08/21/2014)

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New! IDEA Fiscal Data Center (CFDA No. 84.373F)
On Monday, August 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate an IDEA Fiscal Data Center (CFDA No. 84.373F).

  • Notice of final priority:
     PDF (216KB).
  • Notice inviting applications:
     PDF (216KB).

The purpose of this center is to achieve, at a minimum, the following expected outcomes:

  1. improve the capacity of state staff to collect and report accurate fiscal data to meet the data collection requirements related to the IDEA Part B local educational agency (LEA) Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Reduction and Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) [LEA MOE/CEIS] and state Maintenance of Financial Support (State MFS); and
     
  2. increase states’ knowledge of the underlying fiscal requirements and the calculations necessary to submit valid and reliable data on LEA MOE/CEIS and state MFS.

The application package is available beginning on Aug. 11, 2014 and the deadline for submitting completed applications is Sep. 10, 2014.

(08/21/2014)

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blue flag bullet Invitation to Comment on Implementation of Title II and Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
In a joint blog post, OSERS and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) invite you to submit comments and recommendations to help us implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22.

Please submit comments by Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Submitting comments is voluntary and subject to ED blog comment policies.

(08/13/2014)

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blue flag bullet Questions and Answers Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency Assessments.
This guidance document is on the inclusion of English Learners (ELs) with disabilities in English language proficiency (ELP) assessments under Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). These are assessments designed to measure the progress of ELs in attaining English language proficiency. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) administers the ESEA and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) administers Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). OESE and OSERS are issuing the guidance to help states and LEAs understand how Part B of the IDEA and Titles I and III of the ESEA address the inclusion of ELs with disabilities in annual state ELP assessments.

  • Cover Letter:
    Word (203KB) | PDF (216KB)  
  • Q&A:
    Word (250KB) | PDF (94KB)

(07/18/2014)

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blue flag bullet Community Eligibility Provision of School Lunch Program
OSEP Director Melody Musgrove provided information to chief state school officers regarding the opportunities under, and potential impact of, changes in the National School Lunch Program on the allocation of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds to local education agencies. Specifically, this letter discusses the inclusion of the new universal meal option, the “Community Eligibility Provision” as a result of the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

  • Dear Colleague Letter:
    PDF (100KB)

(July 8, 2014)

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blue flag bullet Handbook on Collaboration between Parent Centers and Protection and Advocacy Agencies
This handbook serves as a blueprint on collaboration between the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funded parent training and information centers (PTIs) and community parent resource centers (CPRCs) and the protection and advocacy (P&A) and client assistance (CAP) programs funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The handbook includes examples of memoranda of understanding (MOU) that projects can use to develop their own MOUs.

Link: www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/collaboration-handbook.

(July 8, 2014)

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blue flag bullet RDA Leadership Series for State Directors and Part C Coordinators
OSEP Director Melody Musgrove informed state directors of special education of several opportunities to learn more about the Result-Driven Accountability (RDA) initiative. These include the OSEP Project Directors' Conference starting July 21, 2014 (which will incorporate sessions on RDA on July 23 and 24), the Combined Federal Programs Meeting with Title I, Title III, and School Turnaround, and School Improvement Grants (SIG) programs on July 24, the Early Childhood Conference on September 8-10th, and several virtual opportunities related to RDA Phase I and Phase II during the Fall of 2014.

OSEP Meeting Opportunities:
 PDF (84KB)

(July 8, 2014)

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blue flag bullet New Accountability Framework Raises the Bar for State Special Education Programs
To improve the educational outcomes of America’s 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education today announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states’ special education programs.

Until now, the Department’s primary focus was to determine whether states were meeting procedural requirements such as timelines for evaluations, due process hearings and transitioning children into preschool services. While these compliance indicators remain important to children and families, under the new framework known as Results-Driven Accountability (RDA), the Department will also include educational results and outcomes for students with disabilities in making each state’s annual determination under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“Every child, regardless of income, race, background, or disability can succeed if provided the opportunity to learn,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel. We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the supports and services they need to succeed.”

For more information about today’s announcement, including graphs, state fact sheets and letters, click here.

(06/24/2014)

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blue flag bullet Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! promotes early developmental and behavioral screening for kids
 Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Celebrate your child's milestones.The U.S. Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services have launched Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! to encourage developmental and behavioral screening for children to support the families and providers who care for them. Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! will help families look for and celebrate milestones; promote universal screenings; identify delays as early as possible; and improve the support available to help children succeed in school and thrive alongside their peers.

(03/27/2014)

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blue flag bullet Dear Colleague Letter on Bullying
OSERS issued a Dear Colleague letter to educators and stakeholders on the matter of bullying of students with disabilities. This guidance provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities to ensure that students with disabilities who are subject to bullying continue to receive free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Please visit our Blog on keeping students with disabilities safe from bullying.

Dear Colleague Letter:
  MS Word (91KB) | PDF (1.4MB)

Enclosure:
  MS Word (64KB) | PDF (99KB)

(Aug. 20, 2013)

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Last Modified: 08/27/2014