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OSERS Spotlight 2019


OSERS Spotlight Items from 2019

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The Department issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Prior Approval OSEP and RSA Formula Grants in its interim final form. This document is non-binding and does not create or impose new legal requirements. The FAQ document details prior approval flexibilities for two direct cost categories under the Department’s authority in the Uniform Guidance, codified in 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.407(f) and (t), 200.439(b), and 200.456. The flexibilities apply to State formula grant programs administered by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and address the two direct cost categories: participant support costs and equipment.

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Prior Approval — OSEP and RSA Formula Grants (PDF, 371KB)


The Department issued a Questions and Answers document (Q&A), with an accompanying Appendix, on the dual enrollment of students with disabilities in secondary school and postsecondary education institutions, including comprehensive transition and postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

 Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth with Disabilities (PDF, 400KB)

 Press Release


Mark Allan Schultz, most recently a deputy commissioner at the Nebraska Department of Education, will lead the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). RSA assists states and other agencies in their work to provide vocational rehabilitation and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

Read more on the OSERS Blog.


The 2019 IDEA Determinations Fact Sheet provides information about the 2019 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 2017. Each state's determination letter can be found on OSERS' IDEA Website.

 2019 IDEA Determinations Fact Sheet (PDF, 108KB)


Back in September 2018, OSERS released a framework that highlights the way OSERS will focus its work to advance the Secretary of Education’s priorities and continue to make progress toward achieving 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.

 OSERS Framework (PDF, 213KB)


On May 6, 2019, the Department of Justice filed a Notice of Appeal in COPAA v. DeVos. The filing of this Notice of Appeal does not stay the district court order or alter the fact that the December 19, 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant disproportionality is currently in effect.


Pursuant to the plain language of the December 19, 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant disproportionality, and in conjunction with the March 7, 2019 decision in COPAA v. Devos, the Department expects States to calculate significant disproportionality for the 2018–2019 school year using the 2016 rule’s standard methodology, or to recalculate using the 2016 rule’s standard methodology if a different methodology has already been used for this school year.


This Guide, produced jointly by the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, provides best practices and includes resources school leaders and teachers can utilize as they work to achieve a positive school climate, reduce disciplinary concerns, and enhance school safety. Additionally, the Guide provides information to teachers and school leaders on how they can receive support from the Department's two technical assistance centers dedicated to promoting safe and supportive schools, including the National Center of Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, and the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. The Guide includes an appendix of additional resources spanning the work of government agencies and private organizations, equipping parents and educators to create positive learning environments for all students.

 Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources (PDF, 2.7MB)


We want to make you aware of the March 7, 2019 judicial decision in COPAA v. DeVos that vacated the 2018 regulation delaying implementation of the December 19, 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant disproportionality. The Department is reviewing the ruling and considering our options. This judicial decision means that the 2016 regulation is currently in effect. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) staff is collecting information from States about the status of implementation and discussing how to assist with any issues that may arise. If you have additional questions or concerns, please communicate directly with your OSEP State contact.


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos unveiled Education Freedom Scholarships, the Trump Administration's key proposal to expand and improve the education options available to students across the country.

ED Press Release

Fact Sheet: How EFS Can Expand Special Education Options


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the U.S. Department of Education will launch an initiative to address the possible inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in partnership with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), will oversee this proactive approach which will protect students with disabilities by providing technical assistance and support to schools, districts, and state education agencies, and strengthen enforcement activities.

ED Press Release


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Last Modified: 01/11/2023