The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) assists states with implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As part of its mission, OSEP is charged with developing, communicating and disseminating federal policy on early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and on the provision of special education and related services for children with disabilities.
Dear Colleague Letter on Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
The cornerstone of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the entitlement of each eligible child with a disability to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet the child's unique needs. The primary vehicle for providing FAPE is through an appropriately developed individualized education program (IEP) that is based on the individual needs of the child.This policy letter clarifies that IEPs for children with disabilities must be aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which a child is enrolled.
Q&A Regarding Local Educational Agency (LEA) Maintenance of Effort (MOE).
On July 27, 2015, OSEP issued Memorandum 15-10 that provides a question and answer document (Q&A) on the final local educational agency (LEA) maintenance of effort (MOE) regulations that were published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2015. State educational agencies and LEAs are encouraged to review carefully the final regulations and the LEA MOE Q&A. OSEP anticipates publishing additional LEA MOE Q&A documents.
Q&A Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities
in English Language Proficiency Assessments and Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives.
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. The 2014 guidance was amended by the 2015 Addendum.
July 2015 Addendum
- Dispute Resolution Procedures under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Part B), July 23, 2013
OSERS issued this Q&A document to provide parents, parent training and information centers, school personnel, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), advocacy organizations, and other interested parties with information to facilitate appropriate implementation of the IDEA dispute resolution procedures, including mediation, state complaint procedures, and due process complaint and due process hearing procedures.
Final Regulations Related to Parental Consent for the Use of Public Benefits or Insurance
The Department is issuing final regulations related to parental consent for the use of public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to pay for services under Part B of the IDEA. The regulations will be effective on March 18, 2013.
Creating Equitable Opportunities for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Access Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics.
A report released in 2010 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-10-519, revealed that, despite legislation obligating states and schools to provide equal access, opportunities for physical activity are limited for children and youth with disabilities (GAO, 2010). The purpose of this document, released in 2011, is to disseminate information on improving opportunities for children and youth to access physical education and athletics, and to refer the reader to sources of additional information regarding the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in PE and athletic extracurricular activities.
On January 25, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education provided guidance on the legal aspects of the provision of extracurricular athletic opportunities to students with disabilities to comply with the second recommendation by the GAO to the Department in its report.
Q&A on the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).
OSERS issues this Q&A document to provide states, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and other interested parties with information to facilitate adoption of the NIMAS and coordination with the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), a national repository for NIMAS files received from publishers, SEAs, and LEAs.
Q&A on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations and Reevaluations.
OSERS issues this Q&A document to provide states, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), parents, and other stakeholders with information regarding the IDEA requirements relating to individualized education programs (IEPs), evaluations, and reevaluations.
Guidance on Discipline Procedures.
This Q&A document provides parents, parent training and information centers, school personnel, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), advocacy organizations and other interested parties with information on the needs, expressed by school administrators and teachers, for flexibility in order to balance school safety issues with the need to ensure that schools respond appropriately to a child's behavior that was caused by, or directly and substantially related to, the child's disability.
Guidance on on Disproportionality.
This Q&A document provides parents, parent training and information centers, school personnel, SEAs, LEAs, advocacy organizations and other interested parties with information on how states and LEAs can take steps to address disproportionate representation of racial/ethnic groups in special education.
Guidance on Homeless Children with Disabilities.
This Q&A document provides state and local educational officials, early intervention services providers and homeless assistance coordinators with information to assist with implementation of the requirements of the IDEA and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Guidance on Procedural Safeguards and Due Process Procedures for Parents and Children with Disabilities.
This Q&A document provides parents, parent training and information centers, school personnel, SEAs, LEAs, advocacy organizations and other interested parties with information on several changes in the IDEA Part B regulations regarding the procedures states must adopt for resolving written complaints filed with the SEA.
- Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)
Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
OSEP issued this guidance to provide states with information regarding the use of funds provided under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by local educational agencies (LEAs) to develop and implement coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) for students who are currently not identified as needing special education.