FR Doc 03-30633

[Federal Register: December 10, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 237)]
[Page 68880-68882]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; List of 

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: List of correspondence from July 1, 2003, 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 the 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 (Department) of the IDEA or the regulations 
that implement the IDEA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melisande Lee or JoLeta Reynolds. 
Telephone: (202) 205-5507 (press 3).
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of this notice in 
an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or 
computer diskette) on request to the contact persons listed in the 
preceding paragraph.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following list identifies correspondence 
from the Department issued from July 1, 2003, through September 30, 
    Included on the list are those letters that contain interpretations 
of the requirements of the 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: Special Education and Related Services
    [sbull] Letters dated August 22, 2003, to National School 
Transportation Association Regulatory Liaison Robin L. Leeds and 
National Association for Pupil Transportation Executive Director 
Michael J. Martin, regarding the obligations of local educational 
agencies (LEAs) under Part B of the IDEA toward related service 
providers, including transportation providers.
    [sbull] OSEP memorandum 03-10 dated August 22, 2003, to State 
Directors of Special Education, regarding how to ensure safe and 
appropriate transportation for children with disabilities.

Section 603--Office of Special Education Programs

Topic Addressed: Responsibilities of the Office of Special Education 
    [sbull] Letter dated August 15, 2003, to individual (personally 
identifiable information redacted), clarifying that Part B of the IDEA 
does not provide for the Office of Special Education Programs' review 
of individual State-level complaint decisions or due process hearings, 
clarifying the procedures for requesting and amending school records, 
and clarifying the Department's responsibility to monitor a State's 
compliance with the IDEA.

Part B--Assistance for Education of All Children With Disabilities

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

Topic Addressed: Distribution of Funds
    [sbull] OSEP memorandum 08-03 [sic] dated July 1, 2003, regarding 
implementation of the funding formula and funding formula distributions 
under section 611 of Part B of the IDEA and requesting that the States 
sign an Assurance Statement attesting to the accuracy of their funding 
formula distributions.

Section 612--State Eligibility

Topic Addressed: Free Appropriate Public Education
    [sbull] Letter dated August 19, 2003, to Children's Advocacy 
Network of Florida Founder Beth Davis-Wellington, regarding: (1) The 
role of the individualized education program (IEP) team in implementing 
the State's policy for retention or promotion of students with 
disabilities, (2) the establishment of proficiency standards for a 
regular high school diploma as they relate to children with 
disabilities and the IDEA requirements; and (3) the timing of initial 
evaluations for students with disabilities.
Topic Addressed: Free Appropriate Public Education for Eligible Youth 
With Disabilities Incarcerated in Adult Prisons
    [sbull] Letter dated August 19, 2003, to Vermont Department of 
Education Legal Counsel Geoffrey A. Yudien, clarifying that (1) The 
provisions in 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(6) and 34 CFR 300.311(c)(1) apply to 
post-conviction incarcerations; (2) to the extent consistent with the 
age ranges established under State law, States and LEAs must include in 
their child find systems those incarcerated youth who would be eligible 
to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and who do not 
fall into the exception to the FAPE requirement; (3) individuals in the 
Federal correctional system fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal 
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the IDEA makes no specific provision for 
funding educational services through the BOP; and (4) under Part B of 
the IDEA, if a youth with disabilities is referred or placed by the 
State into an out-of-State facility, the referring State is generally 
responsible for ensuring that FAPE is available during the course of 
the youth's placement in that facility.
Topic Addressed: Procedural Safeguards
    [sbull] Letter dated September 9, 2003, to North Dakota State 
Director of Special Education Robert Rutten, clarifying that it is not 
inconsistent with the State complaint procedures required by 34 CFR 
300.660-300.662 for a complainant to have an advocate present during an 
interview or for the complaint investigator to send a copy of the 
issues to be investigated to an advocate if requested to do so by the 

[[Page 68881]]

Topic Addressed: Least Restrictive Environment
    [sbull] Letter dated July 23, 2003, to individual (personally 
identifiable information redacted), clarifying that neither the IDEA 
nor its implementing regulations define the term ``regular classes'' 
nor do they limit the number, or percentage, of students with 
disabilities that may be placed into a specific regular classroom in 
order to provide FAPE in the least restrictive environment, consistent 
with the requirements of 34 CFR 300.550-300.556.
    [sbull] Letter dated July 1, 2003, to individual (personally 
identifiable information redacted), clarifying that, under the IDEA, 
private schools are not subject to the same admission policies which 
apply to public schools and services plans are prepared only for 
private school children with disabilities who are designated to receive 
Topic Addressed: Maintenance of Effort
    [sbull] Letter dated August 1, 2003, to Washington State Audit 
Manager Brad White, clarifying that an LEA is not permitted to reduce 
its level of expenditures under Part B of the IDEA below the level of 
expenditures for the preceding fiscal year if the decrease is 
attributed to a reduction in the LEA's retirement rates for its staff.
Topic Addressed: Participation of Children with Disabilities in State 
and District-Wide Assessments
    [sbull] Letter dated July 14, 2003, to New Hampshire Disabilities 
Rights Center Executive Director Dr. Richard Cohen, regarding the 
requirements for the disaggregation and reporting of assessment and 
performance indicator data to the public and the Secretary under the 
IDEA and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 
as amended.

Section 613--Local Educational Agency Eligibility

Topic Addressed: Charter Schools
    [sbull] Letter dated August 8, 2003, to New York State Education 
Department Deputy Commissioner Lawrence C. Gloeckler, regarding the 
status of charter schools under New York law for the purposes of Part B 
of the IDEA and requesting clarification on how the State is ensuring 
that the requirements for charter schools under the IDEA are being met.

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

Topic Addressed: Evaluations and Reevaluations
    [sbull] Letter dated September 5, 2003, to Hofstra University 
Professor Frank G. Bowe, clarifying that an agency may not use the due 
process procedures under the IDEA to override the requirement that 
informed parental consent be obtained before the initial provision of 
special education and related services.
    [sbull] Letter dated September 3, 2003, to U.S. Senator Ben 
Nighthorse Campbell, regarding the use of intelligence quotient tests 
to determine the eligibility of students with disabilities for special 
education under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and under 
the IDEA.
Topic Addressed: Individualized Education Programs
    [sbull] Letter dated August 28, 2003, to Fort Thomas Kentucky 
Independent Schools Assistant Superintendent Rita Byrd, clarifying that 
Federal regulations do not address the public agency's responsibility 
to make an employee of the agency, including a student's former 
teacher, available for IEP meetings.
    [sbull] Letter dated August 28, 2003, to individual (personally 
identifiable information redacted), clarifying that whether an employee 
who is not required by 34 CFR 300.344(a) to be part of an IEP team may 
be required to attend or be charged leave to attend an IEP meeting is a 
matter of State and/or local policy.
    [sbull] Letter dated July 25, 2003, to individual (personally 
identifiable information redacted), regarding which parties are 
responsible under the IDEA for developing, reviewing, and, if 
appropriate, revising the IEP and clarifying that the decision as to 
who is responsible for putting IEP team decisions in writing is made by 
the public agency.

Section 615--Procedural Safeguards

Topic Addressed: Surrogate Parents
    [sbull] Letter dated July 10, 2003, to New Hampshire State Director 
of Special Education Mary J. Ford, regarding the distinction between a 
surrogate parent under 34 CFR 300.515 and a person acting as a parent 
under 34 CFR 300.20.

Part C--Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities

Section 635--Requirements for Statewide System

Topic Addressed: Procedural Safeguards
    [sbull] Letter dated August 19, 2003, to individual (personally 
identifiable information redacted), regarding (1) the Office for Civil 
Rights' authority over complaints related to discrimination based on 
disability, (2) the resolution of individual complaints and the award 
of compensatory services under Part C of the IDEA, and (3) the lead 
agency's responsibility for general supervision of all Part C programs 
and activities, including the monitoring of agencies carrying out Part 
C services.

Other Letters That Do Not Interpret the IDEA But May Be of Interest to 

Topic Addressed: Free Appropriate Public Education
    [sbull] Letter dated August 28, 2003, to Chief State School 
Officers, regarding implementation of the Title I choice and 
supplemental educational services provisions of the No Child Left 
Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
Topic Addressed: Confidentiality of Education Records
    [sbull] Letter dated July 2, 2003, to Chief State School Officers, 
regarding (1) release of student information to military recruiters 
under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 and 
(2) the process by which parents are notified and have an opportunity 
to request that this information not be disclosed without their 
consent, similar to the ``directory information'' provisions under the 
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Topic Addressed: Personnel Standards
    [sbull] Letter dated July 28, 2003, to Chief State School Officers, 
regarding provisions in NCLB, the Teacher Assistance Corps, and efforts 
to share ideas about improvements in teacher quality.

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[[Page 68882]]

888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is published in the 
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(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.027, Assistance to 
States for Education of Children with Disabilities)

    Dated: December 5, 2003.
Troy R. Justesen,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
[FR Doc. 03-30633 Filed 12-9-03; 8:45 am]