OSERS Spotlight Items from 2018
OSERS Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has released its 40th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2018. The report details the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities.
As an example of OSERS’ commitment to rethink anything and everything to ensure that it is in the best position to achieve its mission, Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett addressed the need to rethink special education in a new blog. The blog highlights the importance of acknowledging the unique needs of each child and then finding the best ways to prepare each individual for successful careers and a meaningful life.
The U.S. Department of Education published in the Federal Register a final rule concerning the Department’s significant disproportionality regulations published December 19, 2016. With this publication, the Department has postponed the compliance date for implementing the significant disproportionality regulations by two years, from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020.
The final rule is available at the Federal Register.
The 2018 IDEA Determinations Fact Sheet provides information about the 2018 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 2016. OSEP will provide links to each state's determination letter and attachments in July, 2018.
A Request for Information (RFI) on the Future Direction of the Rehabilitation Training Program was posted in the Federal Register on May 4, 2018. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is requesting input on the portfolio of grants supported under the Rehabilitation Training Program, specifically those supported under the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training, Rehabilitation Short-Term Training, and Innovative Rehabilitation Training authorities to determine whether the activities funded under the Rehabilitation Training Program are aligned with the goals of the department and the needs of state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. We will use the information gathered in response to this request for information (RFI) to determine whether any changes are needed in designing and implementing grant activities under this program, including the specific mix of activities supported each year.
Comments must be received on or before July 3, 2018. The RFI is located at the Federal Register.
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.
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:
The public may submit comments on the NPRM through www.regulations.gov on or before May 14, 2018.
The 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.