U.S. Supreme Court Rules On Special Education Case
In a unanimous 8-0 decision issued this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools must provide more than a “merely more than de minimis” education program to students with disabilities. Sending the case back to the 10th circuit, the Court did not define that standard but in the ruling stated, ““For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to ‘sitting idly … awaiting the time when they were old enough to ‘drop out.’ The IDEA demands more. It requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”
New documents released in Intervention IDEAs series
The Office of Special Education Programs , of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), has announced the release of three documents as part of the new Intervention IDEAs information brief series.
These documents provide information on interventions to address academic and behavioral challenges in infants, toddlers, children, and youth impacted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) , lead exposure , and opioids .
Each brief includes a description of the issue, examples of practices associated with the interventions, quality indicators, or measures of the positive impacts that may occur as a result of the intervention, and links to additional resources.
Guidance released on civil rights of students with disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education recently released three new sets of guidance to assist the public in understanding how it interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities, and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.
The guidance released today includes a parent and educator resource guide ; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question and answer document on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools; and a DCL and question and answer documents on the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools.
The U.S. Department of Education today made available to the public final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) aimed at promoting equity.
White House released a new capstone report with updates about projects
On December 9, the White House released a new capstone report with updates about projects launched and local progress made in response to the Administration’s Rethink Discipline efforts. Rethink Discipline was launched as part of President Barack Obama’s My Brothers’ Keeper initiative and aims to support all students and promote a welcome and safe climate in schools.
The U.S. Department of Education has released final regulations to implement the accountability, data reporting, and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
A fact sheet summarizes these new rules which are designed to help ensure every student receives a high quality education and is set up for success in college and career.
U.S. Secretary of Education Urges States to End Corporal Punishment in Schools
U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. sent a letter today urging state leaders to end the use of corporal punishment in schools, a practice repeatedly linked to harmful short-term and long-term outcomes for students. Data has shown that students with disabilities and students of color are disproportionally impacted by corporal punishment.
Minneapolis teacher writes about passing genetic disorder to his son
Carl Leupker was diagnosed at the age of 10 with a genetic condition known as dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes painful muscle spasms and affects his speech. It makes it difficult to walk, write, and speak. Despite his challenges, Carl spent 20 years teaching in the Minneapolis Public Schools, and is married with two children.
His son, Liam, who is now 11, has been diagnosed with dystonia. Leupker recently wrote an article for the Washington Post about passing this disorder to his son.
“Like any loving parent, I don’t regret anything about who my child was born to be,” Leupker writes. “Dystonia has been cruel enough to me that I’m angry only at the injustice that Liam will have to relive this struggle in his own way.”
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Obama administration releases resources to ensure appropriate use of school resource officers
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have released a set of resources that address improving school climates, ensuring safety, and supporting student achievement. The resources include tools and guidance for local educational agencies (LEAs) and state educational agencies (SEAs) to responsibly incorporate School Resource Officers (SROs) into the learning environment.
Letters from these departments emphasize the importance of well-designed SRO programs. To assist in the K-12 context, the Departments also jointly released the Safe, School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect (SECURe) Rubrics .
These new resources can help education and law enforcement agencies that use SROs to review and, if necessary, revise SRO-related policies in alignment with common-sense action steps that can lead to improved school safety and better outcomes for students while safeguarding their civil rights.
Federal determination: Minnesota ‘Meets Requirement’
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has released determinations on each state’s implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for Part B (children ages 3-21) and Part C (infants and toddlers) for fiscal year 2014.
Annually, states must report the progress it has made in meeting the targets established in the State Performance Plan (SPP). IDEA details four categories for determination: meets the requirements and purposes of IDEA, needs assistance, needs intervention, or needs substantial intervention.