[Federal Register: March 17, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 53)]
[Page 14547-14549]
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 July 1, 1999 through September 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 July 1, 1999 and September 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: Child With a Disability
    * Letter dated September 14, 1999 to School Psychologist
Anthony W. Coe, regarding criteria for establishing eligibility of
children with pervasive developmental delay for services under Part B
of IDEA, including any applicable State diagnostic criteria, and
clarifying that the categories or conditions identified in the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-IV, are not synonymous with
criteria for determining whether a child is a ``child with a
disability'' under Part B of IDEA.
Topic Addressed: Related Services
    * Letter dated August 2, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's
1999 decision in Cedar Rapids Community School District v.Garret F.,
which clarifies that required nursing services provided during school
hours can be an eligible ``school health service,'' the Department's
views regarding the impact of the decision, and provisions in IDEA that
are designed to assist States and school districts in financing the
costs of required school health services.
    * Letter dated August 11, 1999 to U.S. Congressman David
Camp, regarding the impact on school districts of the U.S. Supreme
Court's 1999 decision in Cedar Rapids Community School District v.
Garret F., and an explanation of the impact of fully funding IDEA at 40
percent of the average per pupil expenditures in public elementary and
secondary schools in the United States.
    * Letter dated September 21, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding the impact on school
districts of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1999 decision in Cedar Rapids
Community School District v. Garrett F. and clarifying that the number
of disabled students requiring the one-on-one nursing services required
by the Garrett F. decision is limited.

[[Page 14548]]

Part B: Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities

Section 611--Authorization; Allotment; Use of Funds; Authorization of

Topic Addressed: Distribution of Part B Funds
    * Letter dated September 20, 1999 to Walnut Creek School
District Superintendent Michael De Sa, and letter dated September 20,
1999 to individual, (personally identifiable information redacted),
regarding provisions in the IDEA Amendments of 1997 that revise the
formula for distribution of funds awarded under Part B of IDEA and
describing increases in Federal funding levels for special education
programs in the past several years, despite funding reductions in other
Federal programs.
Topic Addressed: Use of Part B Funds
    * Letter dated August 5, 1999 to Louisiana Department of
Education Director Virginia C. Beridon regarding criteria for
determining whether use of Part B funds for international travel is an
allowable cost.

Section 612--State Eligibility

Topic Addressed: Free Appropriate Public Education
    * Letter dated August 6, 1999 to Attorney Brian J. Bocketti,
regarding State flexibility under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973 (section 504) in determining nonresident tuition rates for
students with disabilities in public school choice programs as long as
appropriate educational services are made available and funded.
    * Letter dated September 14, 1999 to Colorado Department of
Education Federal Complaints Officer Charles M. Masner, regarding the
responsibility of the State educational agency or public agency to
appoint a hearing officer or to resolve a State complaint if a parent
alleges either that the award of a regular high school diploma to their
child was appropriate or that the award of a regular high school
diploma to their child was not appropriate.
    * Letter dated September 29, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding a State's right to
establish proficiency standards for high school graduation and
clarifying that such State standards may not be established or
implemented in a nondiscriminatory manner in violation of section 504
and Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the
responsibility of the individualized education program (IEP) team under
Part B of IDEA to determine if eligible students with disabilities
require modifications to participate in State assessments.
Topic Addressed: Least Restrictive Environment
    * Letter dated September 21, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding the need to place certain
disabled students in special schools or residential schools, and
clarifying that the Part B regulatory requirement for a continuum of
alternative placements does not compel a State to create an appropriate
residential placement within a State if an appropriate residential
placement for the child is otherwise available.
Topic Addressed: State Educational Agency General Supervisory
    * Letter dated August 5, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), and letter dated August 5, 1999 to
Florida Department of Education Bureau of Instructional Support and
Community Services Chief Shan Goff, regarding a State's obligation to
resolve a complaint against a school district where a child's parents
no longer reside, including: (1) Requiring appropriate corrective
action by that district; and (2) using the State complaint procedures
as a means of addressing both systemic and child-specific violations of
Part B of IDEA.
    * Letter dated August 19, 1999 to California Department of
Education Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin and Youth
and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Robert Presley, informing
California of its receipt of IDEA sections 611 and 619 Part B funds for
Federal Fiscal Year 1999 and its status as a high risk grantee, as well
as the special conditions imposed on its receipt of these grant awards.
Topic Addressed: Information Required for State Program Grants
    * Letter dated August 12, 1999 to Native American Protection
& Advocacy Project, Inc. Attorneys Sarah J. Somers and Therese E. Yanan
regarding the obligations of all States, including the Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA), to submit final policies and procedures that comply with
the requirements of the IDEA Amendments of 1997 as a condition for
receipt of their Federal Fiscal Year 2000 Part B of IDEA grant awards,
the difficulties experienced by children with disabilities attending
schools funded by the BIA in obtaining appropriate educational services
and in resolving disagreements with schools, and the obligations of the
BIA to implement a due process system that meets the requirements of
section 615 of IDEA and to ensure the availability of the State
complaint procedures.

Section 614--Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized
Education Programs, and Educational placements

Topic Addressed: Individualized Education Programs
    * Letter dated August 5, 1999 to Ohio Protection and
Advocacy Association member Suzanne Faustini regarding the absence of a
requirement in Part B of IDEA that recommendations of parents or other
team members not adopted by the IEP team be included in the IEP,
clarifying that the IEP is developed by consensus rather than by
majority vote and that the public agency must give parents prior
written notice explaining why the recommendations were not adopted.
    * Letter dated September 14, 1999 to Attorney Gary D. Lander
regarding whether a school board member may be a member of an IEP team,
at the request of a parent or a public agency.

Section 615--Procedural Safeguards

Topic Addressed: Mediation
    * Letter dated August 26, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding the mediation
confidentiality requirements of the IDEA Amendments of 1997 and the
Department's regulations that prohibit the use of mediation discussions
as evidence in a due process hearing or civil proceeding, but
clarifying congressional intent that this requirement not be used to
supersede any discovery rights in such proceedings or any parental
access rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of
Topic Addressed: Discipline Procedures
    * Letter dated July 27, 1999 to U.S. Congressman Rush Holt
regarding obligations of school districts to take prompt and
appropriate steps whenever a student with or without a disability
threatens school safety and explaining the options available to school
authorities in disciplining a disabled student who threatens school
    * Letter dated September 20, 1999 to individual, (personally
identifiable information redacted), regarding options available to
school authorities in disciplining students with disabilities,
particularly the use of proactive measures, including appropriate
behavioral interventions, and information about some of the programs
that the Department funds regarding the

[[Page 14549]]

use of appropriate behavioral interventions.

Section 619--Preschool Grants

Topic Addressed: Procedures for Allocating Subgrants to Eligible
    * Letter dated July 9, 1999 to Arizona Superintendent of
Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan regarding the formula for the
Preschool Grants program and how State educational agencies allocate
subgrants to local educational agencies, procedures for calculating
base payments and population and poverty payments, and clarifying that
there are no provisions in Part B of IDEA authorizing waivers of these

Part D: National Activities To Improve Education of Children With

Subpart 1--State Program Improvement Grants for Children With

Section 653--Applications

Topic Addressed: Information About State Program Improvement Grants
    * OSEP memorandum 99-14 dated July 30, 1999, to interested
parties providing guidance related to State program improvement grants.

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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. 00-6649 Filed 3-16-00; 8:45 am]