New Dear Colleague Letter on Children with Disabilities Residing in Nursing Homes, issued April 26, 2016
This Dear Colleague Letter [PDF, 324KB] addresses the responsibilities of states, school districts, and other public agencies in addressing the special educational needs of children with disabilities who reside in nursing homes. Although their numbers are small, their medically complex conditions present unique challenges. Accordingly, OSERS is issuing this letter to clarify that children with disabilities residing in nursing homes and their parents have the same rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that apply to all other IDEA-eligible children, and to highlight some of the IDEA requirements that are especially relevant to the needs of this unique population. This letter also identifies best practices to assist states and their public agencies in meeting the unique educational needs of these children.
New OSEP Memo 16-07—Response to Intervention (RTI) and Preschool Services, issued April 29, 2016
This OSEP Memo [PDF, 140KB] clarifies that an RTI process cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation for preschool special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Once a local education agency (LEA) receives a referral from a preschool program, the LEA must initiate the evaluation process to determine if the child is a child with a disability. An LEA may not decline a child find referral from a preschool program until the program monitors the child's developmental progress using RTI procedures.
IDEAs That Work Website
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), either directly and through its partners and grantees, develops a wide range of research-based products, publications, and resources to assist states, local district personnel, and families to improve results for students with disabilities. The IDEAs That Work website is designed to provide easy access to information from research-to-practice initiatives funded by OSEP that address the provisions of IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act. This website includes resources, links, and other important information relevant to OSEP's research to practice efforts. Please continue to check the website for new information that will be posted as it becomes available. See more at: https://www.osepideasthatwork.org
Negotiated Rulemaking on ESSA
The U.S. Department of Education has completed its Negotiated Rulemaking process for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Negotiated Rulemaking Committee came to agreement on Title I Part A assessment provisions, many that are critical for children with disabilities. The ESSA, signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, is a bipartisan measure that reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which represents the nation's longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students, including students with disabilities. Visit this page for updates, or sign up for news about ESSA.
New Grants for Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for Adolescents with Disabilities
OSEP has funded three new awards for model demonstration projects to improve literacy outcomes for adolescents with disabilities under the FY 2015 competition CFDA 84.326M. Awards were made to the University of Texas at Austin, the Michigan Department of Education, and the University Corporation at California State University, Northridge. Projects will develop, implement and evaluate models that include a combination of effective instruction, professional development and evidence-based teaching practices that are appropriate for classroom and small group settings. Working together, the projects will determine:
- if and to what extent their models improve reading achievement and content area learning for adolescents with disabilities as well as typically developing peers, and
- for whom and under what conditions and contexts the models are maximally beneficial.
New Grants for the Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel
OSEP has awarded 17 grants under the FY 2016 competition CFDA 84.325D for the Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel. The purpose of the program is to increase the quantity of special education, early intervention, and related services personnel who have been trained at the doctoral level who can effectively carry out leadership positions in universities, SEAs, LEAs, lead agencies, or early intervention programs. The program supports two types of programs:
- Type A programs are designed to prepare special education, early intervention, or related services personnel to serve as higher education faculty.
- Type B programs are designed to prepare special education or early intervention administrators to work in SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs or providers, or schools.
IDEA Section 618 Static Data Tables Released
Interested in the percent of the infants and toddlers, birth through 2, who are receiving early intervention services? Interested in the percent of students with disabilities, ages 6 to 21, receiving special education and related services in the regular classroom 80% or more of the day? OSEP's recently released Static Data Tables that provide data users easy access to these sorts of figures. The Static Data Tables provide commonly used percentages associated with the following IDEA Section 618 data:
- 2014-15 Part B Child Count and Educational Environment
- 2013-14 Part B Personnel
- 2013-14 Part B Exiting
- 2013-14 Part B Discipline
- 2013-14 Part B Assessment
- 2013-14 Part B Dispute Resolution
- 2014-15 Part C Child Count and Settings
- 2013-14 Part C Exiting
- 2013-14 Part C Dispute Resolution