[Federal Register: March 17, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 53)]
[Page 14545-14547]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; List of

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: List of correspondence from April 1, 1999 through June 30,


SUMMARY: The Secretary is publishing the following list pursuant to
section 607(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA). Under section 607(d) of IDEA, the Secretary is required, on a
quarterly basis, to publish in the Federal Register a list of
correspondence from the Department of Education received by individuals
during the previous quarter that describes the interpretations of the
Department of Education of IDEA or the regulations that implement IDEA.

Telephone: (202) 205-5507. Individuals who use a telecommunications
device for the deaf (TDD) may call (202) 205-5465 or the Federal
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 am and
8:00 pm, Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of this notice in
an alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer
diskette) on request to Katie Mincey, Director of the Alternate Formats
Center. Telephone: (202) 205-8113.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following list identifies correspondence
from the Department issued between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 1999.
    Included on the list are those letters that contain interpretations
of the requirements of IDEA and its implementing regulations, as well
as letters and other documents that the Department believes will assist
the public in understanding the requirements of the law and its
regulations. The date and topic addressed by a letter are identified,
and summary information is also provided, as appropriate. To protect
the privacy interests of the individual or individuals involved,
personally identifiable information has been deleted, as appropriate.

Part A: General Provisions

Section 602--Definitions

Topic Addressed: Emotional Disturbance
    * Letter dated June 11, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding use of the term
``emotional disturbance'' in lieu of ``serious emotional disturbance''
and the right of each child with a disability to receive special
education and related services that address that child's unique needs.

Section 607--Requirements for Prescribing Regulations

Topic Addressed: Applicable Regulations
    * OSEP memorandum 99-11 dated April 27, 1999 to State
Directors of Special Education, regarding final regulations published
on March 12, 1999 and dates by which compliance with these regulations
became mandatory for States receiving funds under Part B of IDEA.

Part B: Assistance for Education of All Children With Disabilities

Section 612--State Eligibility

Topic Addressed: Free Appropriate Public Education
    * Letter dated April 2, 1999 to Paul T. Halverson, Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction, regarding the absence of any
requirements in Part B of IDEA that a free appropriate public education
be made available to children with disabilities through age 22, and
clarifying a State's discretionary authority to enact a law requiring
that a free appropriate public education be made available to children
with disabilities through the end of the school year during which they
turn 21 years of age.
    * Letter dated April 9, 1999 to Attorney Sonja D. Kerr,
regarding the obligation of public agencies to finance the costs of
residential placements in situations where the public agency
responsible for the child's education determines that the placement is
necessary for the provision of special education and related services
to the child.
    * Letters dated April 29, 1999 to U.S. Congressman Dennis J.
Kucinich and to U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, regarding
medical interventions for children with attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder, and explaining that it is the responsibility of medical, not
educational professionals to prescribe medication to a child with a
disability, and clarifying that a school

[[Page 14546]]

district's failure to deliver required services to an eligible child
with a disability, due to a parent's refusal to give his or her child
medication, may be a violation of the free appropriate public education
requirements of Part B of IDEA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973 (section 504).
    * Letter dated May 14, 1999 to Iowa Governor Thomas J.
Vilsack, regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Cedar Rapids
Community School District v. Garret F., and provisions in the IDEA that
assist States and school districts in paying for the cost of special
education and related services, including the types of services at
issue in the Garret F. decision.
Topic Addressed: Least Restrictive Environment
    * Letter dated June 4, 1999 to New York State Education
Department Commissioner Richard P. Mills, informing New York that if
its funding formula that distributes States funds on the basis of the
type of setting in which a child is served is not revised in a manner
that ensures compliance with the least restrictive environment
requirements of the IDEA Amendments of 1997, New York will become a
high risk grantee and its Part B grant award for Federal Fiscal Year
1999 will include special conditions requiring the State to revise this
funding formula.
Topic Addressed: State Educational Agency General Supervisory
    * Letter dated April 30, 1999 to U.S. Congressman Roy Blunt,
regarding concerns about IDEA paperwork requirements and student
discipline provisions and identifying ways in which the IDEA Amendments
of 1997 actually reduce unnecessary paperwork and provide for expanded
authority to address disciplining students with disabilities.
Topic Addressed: Information Required for Receipt of Grant Awards
    * OSEP memorandum 99-13 dated June 28, 1999, to Chief State
School Officers regarding Procedures for States to Follow in order to
Receive a Grant Award under sections 611 and 619 of Part B of IDEA for
Federal Fiscal Year 2000, which includes, among other matters,
requirements for: (1) Submission of documentation of the State's
eligibility by April 14, 2000, (2) a description of how amounts
retained for State level activities will be used, and (3) a description
of the steps the State proposes to take to ensure equitable access to,
and participation in, activities conducted under Part B of IDEA by
overcoming barriers to equitable participation, in accordance with
section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act.

Section 613--Local Educational Agency Eligibility

Topic Addressed: Distribution of Subgrants to Eligible Charter Schools
    * OSEP memorandum 99-12 dated June 25, 1999 to State
Directors of Special Education, regarding a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking implementing the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998,
clarifying that this Act is applicable to formula grant programs
administrated by the Department, including programs funded under
sections 611 and 619 of Part B of IDEA, and setting out permissible
options for States and local educational agencies to consider using in
implementing the Act's requirements that newly-created charter schools
and charter schools that significantly expand their enrollment receive
the Part B funds for which they are eligible.

Section 614--Evaluation, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized
Education Programs, and Educational Placements

Topic Addressed: Evaluations
    * Letter dated June 29, 1999 to Madison Elementary School
Faculty Senate President Rosemary Anderson, regarding a school
district's obligations to students with disabilities who initially
register to attend school, and (1) clarifying that it would be a
violation of Part B and section 504 for a school district to have a
blanket policy that requires students with disabilities to delay
attendance at a school after registration pending the evaluation, and
(2) explaining that a child can be temporarily placed and provided
accommodations agreed to by the parents and the school to ensure the
child's safety.

Section 615--Procedural Safeguards

Topic Addressed: Attorney's Fees
    * Letter dated June 24, 1999 to Attorney Robert Hornstein,
and letter dated June 24, 1999 to Florida Bureau for Education of
Exceptional Students Chief Shan Goff, regarding a State court's
authority to grant attorneys' fees to the parents of a child with a
disability who is the prevailing party in any action or proceeding
brought under section 615 of IDEA.
Topic Addressed: Mediation
    * Letter dated May 12, 1999 to Vice President of Florida
Statewide Advocacy Network on Disability Nikole Whitehead, regarding
the absence of a requirement under Part B of IDEA that a child must
remain in his or her current educational placement based solely on a
request for a mediation that occurs prior to a parent's request for a
due process hearing.
Topic Addressed: Student Discipline
    * Letter dated April 21, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding options available to
school authorities in disciplining students with disabilities.

Section 619--Preschool Grants

Topic Addressed: Procedures for Allocating Subgrants to Eligible
    * Letter dated June 28, 1999 to New York State Education
Department Deputy Commissioner Lawrence Gloeckler, regarding procedures
for State educational agencies to use in allocating subgrants of funds
awarded under section 619 of IDEA to eligible entities, procedures for
calculating base payments, and procedures for calculating population
and poverty payments.

Part C: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities

Sections 631-641

Topic Addressed: Natural Environments
    * Letter dated May 26, 1999 to Missouri Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education Assistant Commissioner John B.
Heskett, regarding States' obligations to ensure that early
intervention services are provided to infants and toddlers with
disabilities in natural environments, including the home or community
settings in which typically developing children participate, and that
individualized determinations must be made by the individualized family
service plan team (which includes the parent or parents) as to whether
the setting in which the services are being offered would be the
natural environment for the particular child.
    * Letter dated June 11, 1999 to U.S. Congressman Martin
Meehan, regarding serving infants and toddlers with disabilities in
natural environments appropriate for the individual child and his or
her family.
Topic Addressed: Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education to
Children With Disabilities Below Age 3
    * Letter dated April 30, 1999 to Iowa Department of
Education Part C Technical Assistant Julie Curry, confirming that when
a child below age three receives a free appropriate public education,
states must comply with the requirements of: (1) both Parts B and C

[[Page 14547]]

of IDEA when Part B funds are used, and (2) with Part C even if no IDEA
Part B or C funds are used for that child as long as the State receives
any Part C funds.

Part D: National Activities to Improve Education of children with

Subpart 2--Coordinated Research, Personnel Preparation, Technical
Assistance, Support, and Dissemination of Information

Section 682--Parent Training and Information Centers

Topic Addressed: Definition of Parent Organization
    * Letter dated April 15, 1999 to National Association of
Protection and Advocacy Systems Executive Director Curtis L. Decker,
regarding the statutory definition of ``parent organization'' and
explaining that a protection and advocacy entity that otherwise meets
section 682 statutory criteria would be eligible to compete for funding
as a parent training and information center (PTI).

Other Letters Relevant to the Administration of IDEA Programs

Topic Addressed: Freedom of Information Act
    * Letter dated May 20, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding an appeal of a partial
denial of a request for agency records under the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) and stating that FOIA exemption (b)(6), which protects from
public disclosure information that would constitute a clear invasion of
personal privacy, authorizes the Department not to release to the
public personal information, such as home addresses and telephone
numbers, of attendees contained in a register maintained by the Office
of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of public meetings conducted in
connection with OSEP's State educational agency monitoring.

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(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.027, Assistance to
States for Education of Children with Disabilities)

    Dated: March 14, 2000.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 00-6648 Filed 3-16-00; 8:45 am]