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Update Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Assistance for Hurricane and Wildfire Impacted Students, Schools

On February 28, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced new federal assistance for students and schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires. An additional $2.7 billion, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will be used to help K-12 school districts and schools as well as institutions of higher education (IHEs) in their recovery efforts.

The U.S. Department of Education activated its emergency response contact center in response to the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The Department's stakeholders who are seeking informational resources as well as those seeking relief from Department-based administrative requirements should contact the Department toll free at 1‑844‑348‑4082, or by email at HarveyRelief@ed.gov, IrmaRelief@ed.gov or MariaRelief@ed.gov.

Disaster Help Information and Resources

Información en Español

02/28/2018


New Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Significant Disproportionality

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would postpone for two years the compliance date of the significant disproportionality regulations published on December 19, 2016. The NPRM is available from the Federal Register here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-04102

The public may submit comments on the NPRM through www.regulations.gov on or before May 14, 2018.

02/27/2018


Welcome OSERS Assistant Secretary, Johnny Collett

Read Johnny Collett's bioThe U.S. Department of Education welcomes Johnny Collett, the new U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

Collett comes to the department from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) where he served as the program director of Special Education Outcomes. Collett, a former Kentucky state special education director and high school special education teacher, will lead OSERS in its mission to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

01/16/2018


Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Case Q&A

OSERS released a Question and Answer (Q&A) document addressing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Re-1, which clarified the scope of the free appropriate public education (FAPE) requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Court held that "to meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer [a child] an [individualized education program] IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances." This Q&A document provides an overview of the facts and issue in the case, a discussion of the IDEA FAPE requirements and includes questions addressing implementation considerations.

The Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is interested in receiving comments from families, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders to assist us in identifying implementation questions and best practices that may inform future guidance on this decision. If you are interested in commenting on this document or have additional questions, please send them to OSERS by email at EndrewF@ed.gov.

 Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Case Q&A (PDF, 561KB)

 A Commentary by Betsy DeVos: "Tolerating Low Expectations for Children With Disabilities Must End"

12/07/2017


Regulatory Reform Update

As part of the Department's continuing regulatory reform initiative, OSERS has rescinded 72 policy guidance documents for being outdated, unnecessary or ineffective. Below is an update letter to stakeholders, a chart indicating those rescinded OSERS policy guidance documents, and a similar chart with the reasons for rescinding.

OSERS Regulatory Reform Update from Acting Assistant Secretary Kimberly M. Richey (PDF, 84KB)

 Chart of Rescinded OSERS Guidance Documents (PDF, 124KB)

 Chart of Rescinded OSERS Guidance Documents, with Reasons for Rescinding (PDF, 415KB)

 Transcript of October 24, 2017 Stakeholders Call (PDF, 381KB)

 October, 2017 Regulatory Reform Task Force Status Report (PDF, 381KB)

10/30/2017


 Sign Up for OSERS Newsletters and Listservs

OSERS produces and disseminates a wide range of newsletters and topical listservs. Please take the opportunity to sign up for and read these great resources.

10/30/2017


Earlier Spotlight Items

The U.S. Department of Education activated its emergency response contact center in response to the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The Department's stakeholders who are seeking informational resources as well as those seeking relief from Department-based administrative requirements should contact the Department toll free at 1‑844‑348‑4082, or by email at HarveyRelief@ed.gov, IrmaRelief@ed.gov or MariaRelief@ed.gov.

Disaster Help Information and Resources

Información en Español

10/17/2017

The 2017 IDEA Determinations Fact Sheet provides information about the 2017 state determinations on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including the determination category for each state under Part B and Part C, for fiscal year 2015. OSEP will provide links to each state's determination letter and attachments in July, 2017.

 2017 IDEA Determinations Fact Sheet (PDF, 111KB)

06/30/2017

The U.S. Department of Education has published final regulations under Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the Federal Register. The final regulations make technical conforming changes needed to implement statutory amendments made to the IDEA by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and can be found in the June 30, 2017 issue of the Federal Register. To assist with your review of the regulations, we developed a chart that summarizes each change included in the final regulations.

06/30/2017

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a statement on the Department's Regulatory Reform Task Force's first progress report as required by President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13777. The Department has also published a Federal Register notice to provide members of the public the opportunity to submit comments concerning regulations and policy guidance they recommend the Department review, modify or repeal. Comments are due by August 21, 2017.

06/27/2017

The Office of Special Education Programs has launched its new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Website.

New IDEA Website Features:

  • Improved site navigation and design
  • Expanded search options
  • Expanded content
  • Audience specific-information
  • Enhanced accessibility
  • Streamlined resources

More:

06/01/2017

On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed Public Law No. 115-13, which rescinded the Department of Education's regulations relating to accountability and state plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In order to reflect these changes, OSERS has revised and is reissuing A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities, May, 2017 to remove references to the now rescinded ESSA regulations.

 A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities, May, 2017 (PDF, 1.8MB)

 Webinar

Watch this March 10, 2017, OSERS technical assistance Webinar, which provides an overview of A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities.

05/19/2017

These resources are a follow-up to the Equity in IDEA final regulation, which was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 19, 2016, and became effective on Jan. 18, 2017. The Q&A is a guidance document that includes questions and answers on the rule, including the standard methodology; remedies; effective and compliance dates; and a glossary of terms. It is intended to be used as a resource for states as they begin engaging with stakeholders around the implementation of the final rule. The Model State Timeline outlines the different streams of work and the timelines that states should consider as they implement the new rule.

Essential Questions and Answers
 PDF (631KB)

Model State Timeline
 PDF (324KB)

Technical Assistance for Equity in IDEA Implementation 

03/31/2017

This joint statement from the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) sets a vision for stronger partnerships, collaboration, and coordination between awardees of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Program.

 Joint Policy Statement on Collaboration and Coordination of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part C Programs (PDF, 1.0MB)

01/19/2017

OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs is pleased to announce the release of three documents as part of the new Intervention IDEAs information brief series. These documents provide information on interventions to address academic and behavioral challenges in infants, toddlers, children, and youth impacted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), lead exposure, and opioids. Each brief includes a description of the issue, examples of practices associated with the interventions, quality indicators, or measures of the positive impacts that may occur as a result of the intervention, and links to additional resources.

The briefs offer links to resources from numerous federal agencies, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They also cite data and statistics from nationally recognized researchers on these topics.

01/18/2017

OSERS is pleased to publish (now revised) A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities to advance our efforts in ensuring that all students and youth with disabilities are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be engaged in the 21st century workforce.

 A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities (Now revised) (PDF, 1.6MB)

01/12/2017

OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs released an updated Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) related to Preschool Least Restrictive Environments (LRE). The policy guidance provided in the DCL covers:

  • Key statutory and regulatory requirements,
  • Preschool placement options,
  • Reporting educational environments data for preschool children with disabilities, and
  • Use of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B funds for preschool children with disabilities.

Much of the information provided is reaffirming our guidance from the past but we have included new clarification around definitions, data collection, and funding.

01/12/2017

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OSERS Mission

To improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations
for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

In implementing this mission, OSERS supports programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities and provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities. OSERS provides a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in two main areas—special education and vocational rehabilitation—through its two main components: OSEP and RSA.

OSERS Vision

All Americans with disabilities will live and thrive with their disabilities in their own communities.

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Last Modified: 03/01/2018