New New Awards under the State Personnel Development Grants Program, CFDA 84.323A
The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of $7 million in grants to seven states to help recruit and train teachers, principals and other personnel to provide quality education for children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina and Oregon. The grants were awarded under the State Personnel Development Grants Program, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provides funds to assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development. It focuses on the areas of early intervention, education, and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities.
New OSERS Releases Guidance Regarding Education of Children with Disabilities Attending Public Virtual Schools
OSERS has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) regarding the requirements in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that apply to public virtual schools. Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of educational models involving varying degrees of in-person and online instruction and practice. This letter addresses the state's general supervision responsibilities and the applicability of IDEA's child find provisions to children attending public virtual schools. The letter also clarifies the responsibility for the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities attending public virtual schools.
Dear Colleague Letter (PDF, 336 KB)
New Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—Two New Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) on Assessment Requirements
(1) Title I, Part A—Academic Assessments and
(2) Title I, Part B—Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority
On July 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education proposed new regulations through two separate NPRMs. One set of proposed regulations would implement recent changes to the assessment requirements of Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). And another set of proposed regulations would implement changes under Title I, Part B of the ESEA as amended by the ESSA, including the ability of the Secretary to provide demonstration authority to up to seven State educational agencies to pilot an innovative assessment and use it for accountability and reporting purposes under Title I, Part A of the ESEA before scaling such an assessment statewide. The NPRMs address a number of requirements impacting students with disabilities including requirements for stakeholder engagement in the development of applications for the innovative assessment demonstration authority and issues of equity and inclusion, such as requirements for alternate assessments and assessment accommodations. A webinar, conducted on July 19, 2016, explaining the two NPRMs is available on the Department's website: "Overview of Proposed Regulations: Assessment" (PDF, 722 KB) . The Department encourages public comment on both NPRMs, which are available through September 9, 2016 and can be accessed through the Federal Register at the following links: Title I, Part A, and Title I, Part B.
OSERS issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) that emphasizes the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. It also clarifies that the repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that children with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports. When schools fail to consider and provide for needed behavioral supports through the Individualized Education Program (IEP), it is likely to result in children not receiving the free appropriate public education to which they are entitled under federal law. The Dear Colleague Letter, as well as additional resources, can be found on the #RethinkDiscipline Web site.
New National Center for Students with Disabilities Who Require Intensive Intervention
OSEP has awarded a new grant to the American Institutes for Research to support the National Center for Students with Disabilities Who Require Intensive Intervention. This center will assist state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) in their efforts to support schools and educators in implementing intensive intervention composed of practices that are evidence-based ("intensive intervention") for students with disabilities who have persistent learning or behavior difficulties and who need intensive intervention to succeed in school and be prepared for postsecondary opportunities ("students with disabilities who need intensive intervention"). The award was made under the IDEA Technical Assistance and Dissemination Program, competition number CFDA 84.326Q
New National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)
OSEP has awarded a new grant to the American Printing House for the Blind to support the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). This Center serves elementary and secondary students who are blind or print disabled. The award was made under the IDEA Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program, competition number CFDA 84.327E.
2016 IDEA State Determinations
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve education for America's 7 million children with disabilities, on June 28, 2016, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released state determinations on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for Part B and Part C for fiscal year 2014, available on our GRADS 360° site. The Department made its determinations using both compliance and results data, giving each equal weight in making a state's determination. The IDEA requires each state to report annually to the Secretary on its performance under its State Performance Plan (SPP).
The State Determinations Fact Sheet (PDF, 111KB) provides information including the determination category for each state under Part B and Part C. OSEP will provide links to each state's determination letter and attachments early in July.
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.
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 (IDEA). 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
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.