January 11, — January 30, RL The th Congress passed P. IDEA is the major federal statute authorizing funds for special education and related services for children with disabilities, and providing detailed due process provisions to ensure that these children receive a free appropriate public education FAPE. ED issued final regulations on August 14, Although many of the regulatory provisions simply track the statutory language, reflect comments in the conference report, or include provisions in prior IDEA regulations, there are places where the regulations provide more guidance. This report analyzes the regulations, with an emphasis on those areas where additional guidance is provided.

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January 5, — January 23, RL The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA is the main federal program authorizing state and local aid for special education and related services for children with disabilities. The new law preserves the basic structure and civil rights guarantees of IDEA but also makes significant changes in the law. Most provisions of P. This report details the changes made by P.

Provisions aimed at reducing paperwork and other non-educational activities for example, a paperwork reduction pilot program. Modifications to requirements for parents who unilaterally place their children with disabilities in private schools to help ensure equal treatment and participation for such children.

Major changes in compliance monitoring to focus on student performance, not compliance with procedures. This report will be updated to reflect legislative action. It is generally assumed that the th Congress will actively consider legislation to amend and extend the ESEA. It provides federal funding for the education of children with disabilities and requires, as a condition for the receipt of such funds, the provision of a free appropriate public education FAPE. The statute also contains detailed due process provisions to ensure the provision of FAPE.

Originally enacted in , the act responded to increased awareness of the need to educate children with disabilities, and to judicial decisions requiring that states provide an education for children with disabilities if they provided an education for children without disabilities. The following is a brief legislative history:.

See the discussion of Title III at the end of the report for certain exceptions. Such legislation could affect IDEA—for example, regarding how adequate yearly progress AYP is assessed for children with disabilities and how special education teachers are determined to be highly qualified. Section references, unless specified otherwise, refer to sections of P.

The report follows the organization of P. The findings and purposes of the reauthorization largely track the provisions of the reauthorization. Most notably, it addresses concerns that have been raised about certain groups of special education teachers, such as those who teach more than one "core academic subject. The ESEA definition of "highly qualified" applies only to teachers of core academic subjects and differentiates between new and veteran teachers and between those teaching at the elementary level and above the elementary level.

Thus, under ESEA, the "highly qualified" definition applies only to those special education teachers who teach core subjects although this is probably most special education teachers.

Special education teachers who have emergency, temporary, or provisional certification do not meet the IDEA definition. In addition, P. Both new and veteran special education teachers who teach core subjects exclusively to children with disabilities who are assessed against alternative achievement standards under ESEA 6 can, of course, meet the definition of highly qualified by meeting their applicable ESEA standards.

Alternatively, new and veteran teachers of these severely cognitive disabled students at the elementary level may meet the "highly qualified" definition by demonstrating "competence in all the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches based on a high objective uniform State standard of evaluation" often referred to as HOUSSE.

Requirements under P. Hold at least a B. Must obtain full state special education certification or equivalent licensure Cannot hold an emergency or temporary certificate. New or veteran elementary school teachers teaching one or more core academic subjects only to children with disabilities held to alternative academic standards most severely cognitively disabled.

In addition to the general requirements above, may demonstrate academic subject competence through "a high objective uniform State standard of evaluation" the HOUSSE process. New or veteran middle or high school teachers teaching one or more core academic subjects only to children with disabilities held to alternative academic standards most severely cognitively disabled.

In addition to the general requirements above, may demonstrate "subject matter knowledge appropriate to the level of instruction being provided, as determined by the State, needed to effectively teach to those standards". New teachers of two or more academic subjects who are highly qualified in either mathematics, language arts, or science. In addition to the general requirements above, has two-year window in which to become highly qualified in the other core academic subjects and may do this through the HOUSSE process.

Veteran teachers who teach two or more core academic subjects only to children with disabilities. In addition to the general requirements above, may demonstrate academic subject competence through the HOUSSE process including a single evaluation for all core academic subjects.

Consultative teachers and other special education teachers who do not teach core academic subjects. New and veteran special education teachers who teach two or more core subjects exclusively to children with disabilities may qualify as highly qualified by meeting the requirements in each core subject taught under applicable ESEA provisions.

This two-year window is the only exception to the deadline, explicitly applied to special education teachers, for meeting the "highly qualified" definition under either IDEA or ESEA, which is the end of school year ESEA, Section a 2. Regarding other classifications of special education teachers, one can infer that those who do not teach core subjects would meet the IDEA definition if they meet the IDEA criteria for all special education teachers full certification and at least a bachelor's degree.

With respect to special education teachers who provide only consultative services to other teachers, the Conference Report observes that:. Such consultative services do not include instruction in core academic subjects, but may include adjustments to the learning environment, modifications of instructional methods, adaptation of curricula, the use of positive behavioral supports and interventions, or the use of appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of individuals children.

The apparent intent is that consultative teachers who do not provide direct instruction in a core subject need only meet the requirements of having obtained at least a baccalaureate degree and be fully state certified as a special education teacher. Other special education teachers who teach only one core subject would appear to have to meet the relevant criteria under the ESEA definition in addition to the overarching IDEA certification and degree criteria and would then also be considered highly qualified under IDEA.

Other general definitions added by P. For example, the Secretary is directed to regulate only as "necessary to ensure that there is compliance with the specific requirements of [IDEA]. Finally, P. Section of IDEA deals with allocations of Part B grants-to-states funds, including set-asides and state and substate formulas.

Prior to the enactment of P. The prior law authorized "such sums as may be necessary" to carry out the provisions of the grants-to-states program, and this authorization was permanent. Table 2 lists the authorization amounts. The freely associated states receive the amounts they received for FY; the remainder is allocated to the outlying areas according to their population ages 3 to This provision replaces a set-aside from Part B and Part C funds for studies and evaluations.

IDEA permits states to reserve funds for state administration and for other state-level activities. A state may reserve the maximum amount it could reserve for FY also adjusted by the rate of inflation , 27 unless the minimum amount is greater. In addition to the changed maximum amount of this set-aside, P. The core requirement of IDEA is providing all children with disabilities with a free appropriate public education FAPE , 30 which the act defines as meaning special education and related services.

Funds distributed from the risk pool must only pay for "direct special education and related services" for high-need children with disabilities and may not be used for legal fees or related costs. Section spells out requirements that states must meet to be eligible for Part B funding. These requirements provide for state guarantees of some of the central provisions of IDEA. In many important respects, P. A child with a disability may also be unilaterally placed in a private school by his or her parents.

In the latter situation, the cost of the private school placement is not paid by the LEA unless a hearing officer or a court makes certain findings.

However, IDEA does require some services for children in private schools, even if they are unilaterally placed there by their parents. Exactly what these services are or should be has been a contentious subject for many years.

The reauthorization of IDEA expanded on the private school provisions, and the reauthorization includes several changes to the provisions relating to children who are placed in private school by their parents. The provisions relating to children placed in private schools by public agencies were not changed. This provision was changed from previous law by the addition of the requirement that the children be located in the school district served by the LEA.

The Senate report described this change as protecting "LEAs from having to work with private schools located in multiple jurisdictions when students attend private schools across district lines. There are five requirements regarding this provision of special education. The first is that the funds expended by the LEA, including direct services to parentally placed private school children, shall be equal to a proportionate amount of federal funds made available under part B of IDEA.

The reauthorization added the phrase regarding direct services. The Senate report stated that "it is the committee's intent that school districts place a greater emphasis on services provided directly to such children—like specifically designed instructional activities and related services—rather than devoting funds solely to indirect services such as professional development for private school personnel.

Second, a new provision relating to the calculation of the proportionate amount is added. In calculating this amount, the LEA, after timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of private schools, shall conduct a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of children with disabilities who are parentally placed in private schools.

Third, the new law keeps the previous requirement that the services may be provided to children on the premises of private schools, including religious schools, to the extent consistent with law. The reauthorization added the term "religious" while deleting the term "parochial. Fourth, a specific provision regarding supplementing funds, not supplanting them, is added. State and local funds may supplement and not supplant the proportionate amount of federal funds required to be expended.

Fifth, each LEA must maintain records and provide to the SEA the number of children evaluated, the number of children determined to have disabilities, and the number of children served under the private school provisions.

The Senate report stated that this requirement was "to help to ensure that these funds are serving their intended purpose. The general requirement regarding child find is essentially the same as previous law.

As was done in the previous section, the former use of the term "parochial" is replaced by the term "religious" in the new law. New provisions are added concerning equitable participation, activities, cost and the completion period. Child find is to be designed to ensure the equitable participation of parentally placed private school children with disabilities and their accurate count. The cost of child find activities may not be considered in meeting the LEA's proportional spending obligation.

This consultation is to include. The Senate report described the consultation procedure as similar to that in the No Child Left Behind Act and "therefore, the committee does not believe including these provisions places an undue burden on LEAs. The new law also requires a written affirmation of the consultation signed by the representatives of the participating private schools.

Compliance procedures are added by P. Generally, a private school official has the right to submit a complaint to the SEA alleging that the LEA did not engage in meaningful and timely consultation or did not give due consideration to the views of the private school official.

If a private school official submits a complaint, he or she must provide the basis of the noncompliance to the SEA, and the LEA must forward the appropriate documentation. The reauthorization contains a specific subsection regarding the provision of equitable services. Services are to be provided by employees of a public agency or through contract by the public agency. As noted above, when a child with a disability is unilaterally placed in a private school by his or her parents, the cost of the private school placement is not paid by the LEA unless a hearing officer or a court makes certain findings.

Both the and reauthorizations contain an exception to this limitation, but this exception is changed somewhat in the new law. Under the new law, the cost of reimbursement is not to be reduced or denied for the failure to provide notice if:. Previous law had included a provision that reimbursement not be reduced or denied if a parent is illiterate and had included "serious emotional harm.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Analysis of Changes Made by P.L. 108-446

As of , approximately seven million students enrolled in U. Signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 3, It became effective July 1, with the exception of elements relating to the "highly qualified teacher". It was initially created to assure all children were receiving a free and appropriate public education FAPE. Updates are made approximately every five years or so. In , additional changes were made to IDEA as final regulations were released.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Overview of P.L. 108-446


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