Archives: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

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New Rules: OCR Issues Internal Memorandum Impacting Enforcement Practices for Pending and Future Investigations

Earlier this month, the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights’ Acting Assistant Secretary issued an internal memorandum to Regional Directors eliminating certain existing internal procedures and detailing new practices regarding the investigation of OCR complaints.  With the … Read more

Supreme Court Clarifies FAPE Standard in Endrew F. Case

IEPs Must Be Reasonably Calculated to Enable Appropriate Progress in Light of Child’s Circumstances

For the first time in nearly 35 years, the Supreme Court of the United States has addressed the legal standard by which courts determine whether a … Read more

Supreme Court Rules That Parents Need Not Exhaust IDEA Due Process Procedures for Non-FAPE Disability Discrimination Claims

On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-487 (2017), which addressed the issue of when a parent who brings a claim against a school district … Read more

Oral Argument Presented in Supreme Court Case Addressing the Level of Educational Benefit that must be Provided under IDEA

On January 11, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187, to address the level of benefit a school … Read more

Supreme Court to Revisit Rowley IDEA FAPE Standard for First Time in Nearly 35 Years

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187  to decide the question “What is … Read more

Second Circuit Holds IDEA Eligibility Does Not Automatically Result in Section 504/ADA Eligibility; Practical Implications Are Not That Simple

On September 16, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in a precedential decision that, as a technical legal matter, a student’s eligibility for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act … Read more

OSERS Reminds of Need to Consider PBIS; Cautions on Use of Short-Term Removals and Exclusionary Discipline

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on August 1, 2016 underscoring the importance of positive behavioral interventions and supports for students with disabilities and cautioning individualized … Read more

Transition Bill of Rights – New Notice Requirements

The Transition Bill of Rights for Parents of Students Receiving Special Education Services:

On May 17, 2016, the State Department of Education (“CSDE”) distributed to school superintendents the Transition Bill of Rights, which was approved by the State Board … Read more

OSEP Dear Colleague Letter Reminds Districts to Consider Speech/Language Needs for Students with Autism

The Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and language services and that speech-language pathologists and … Read more

SDE Weighs in on Parents’ Right to Independent Educational Evaluations

The Connecticut State Department of Education (“SDE”) recently issued a guidance memorandum  providing its interpretation of when a parent is entitled to a publicly funded independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) regulations.  This SDE … Read more

OSEP Provides Guidance on Parent’s Right to an Independent Educational Evaluation

The topic of independent educational evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) has, now more than ever, become one of the most discussed and debated topics in special education. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education … Read more

SDE Releases New “Working Definition” of Dyslexia for Special Education Eligibility

Last year the General Assembly enacted Public Act 14-39, which required the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) to add “SLD-Dyslexia” as a separate primary disability category under the existing “specific learning disability” category on the individualized education program (IEP) … Read more

Bureau of Special Education Issues Guidance on a School District’s Ability to Send Records to Out-of-District Placements

On December 24, 2014, the State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education (the “Bureau”), issued guidance on a school district’s ability to send student records to out-of-district placements proposed by a student’s planning and placement team (“PPT”).  Specifically, the … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Ebola for K-12 Schools

In response to the Ebola epidemic, the U.S. Department of Education (“USDOE”) has issued a letter to schools and districts providing updated guidance and resources to assist schools and communities in establishing practices and protocols related to Ebola, as well … Read more

New Guidance Explains Different Standards under IDEA and the ADA for Meeting Students’ Communication Needs

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) together with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) recently issued joint guidance regarding the obligations of public schools to meet the … Read more

Government Accountability Office Report Finds a Reduction in Special Education Due Process Hearings

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on special education titled “Improved Performance Measures Could Enhance Oversight of Dispute Resolution.” According to the GAO report, from 2004-2012 the number of special education due process hearings substantially decreased nationwide … Read more

State Department of Education Provides Guidance on Prior Written Notice Timelines for IEPs

The Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDOE”) has issued guidance to public school districts regarding the new Prior Written Notice (“PWN”) provisions contained in the recently revised special education regulations which went into effect on July 1, 2013. Under Section … Read more

Federal Regulations Revised to Allow One-Time Parental Consent to Access Public Benefits or Public Insurance to Pay for IDEA Services

Effective March 18, 2013, school districts need only obtain one-time parental consent, and provide a specified annual notification, to access a parent’s or student’s public benefits or public insurance (i.e. Medicaid) to pay for services under Part B of the … Read more

State Department of Education Clarifies Rules on Whether School Districts May Share IEPs With Paraprofessionals

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has recently clarified the responsibilities of school districts under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with regard to sharing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) with paraprofessionals. The CSDE, through a brief sent … Read more