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

New! 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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New! 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:
    download file Word (203KB) | PDF (216KB)  
  • Q&A:
    download file Word (250KB) | PDF (94KB)

(07/18/2014)

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blue flag bullet OSERS/OSEP—Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Center for Systemic Improvement (CFDA No. 84.326R)

A notice inviting applications for the OSERS/OSEP—Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Center for Systemic Improvement (CFDA No. 84.326R) was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish and operate a Center for Systemic Improvement. This will be a national center with a focus on providing technical assistance to State educational agencies and lead agencies to help build their capacity to support local educational agencies and early intervention services programs and providers in improving educational results and functional outcomes for children with disabilities. Applications must be received by August 18, 2014.

(July 17, 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:
download files 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:
download files PDF (84KB)

(July 8, 2014)

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blue flag bullet The National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities
On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, the U.S Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities (Center). The notice can be accessed at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-02/pdf/2014-15437.pdf. The center will assist State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment.

The application package is available beginning on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 and the deadline for submitting completed applications is Monday, August 18, 2014.

For further information about the proposed center, please contact:

(07/02/2014)

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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 Request for Information (RFI) on Significant Disproportionality
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) published an RFI in the June 19, 2014 Federal Register requesting public comment on the actions that the Department should take to address significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity in special education. The Department is requesting input from the public on actions the Department should take related to:

  1. significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity in the:
    1. identification of children as children with disabilities, including identification by disability category;
    2. placement of children with disabilities in particular educational settings; and
    3. the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary action taken with respect to children with disabilities; and
  2. ensuring that funds reserved for comprehensive, coordinated early intervening services under Part B of the IDEA are used to effectively address significant disproportionality.

The RFI includes information about how to submit public comments. Responses must be received by July 28, 2014.

download files Download the RFI: PDF (222KB)

(06/19/2014)

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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:
download files MS Word (91KB) | PDF (1.4MB)

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

(Aug. 20, 2013)

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Last Modified: 08/13/2014