New IDEA Regulations Released!
The U.S. Department of Education has just released new IDEA regulations (published in the 12/1/08 Federal Register) in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued on May 13, 2008 , and the more than 700 public comments received (comment period ended on July 28, 2008 ). Two issues directly affecting families were addressed: (1) the right of parents to unilaterally revoke consent to the provision of special education services to their child; and (2) the right of parents to be “represented” by lay (non-attorney) advocates at due process hearings. Also addressed were State and Local Educational Agency’s (LEA’s) obligation to make positive efforts to employ qualified individuals with disabilities; state monitoring, technical assistance, and enforcement of Part B; and allocation of funds to LEA’s that are not serving children with disabilities.
To summarize (after quickly skimming the document): (1) the Department retained the proposed change to existing regulations to allow parents to unilaterally revoke consent, with the school being required to provide prior written notice to the parents before terminating services pursuant to such revocation; (2) the Department retained the proposed change to existing regulations by announcing, contrary to its previously held position, that whether parents have the right to be “represented” (as opposed to accompanied and advised) by lay (non-attorney) advocates at due process hearings is a matter of State law.
Thanks to COPAA (the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc., http://www.copaa.org) for the heads up and the following links to the regulations, which go into effect in 30 days ( 12/31/08 ):Sandy, Illinois (alpy2@...)
Volunteer Co-Webmaster, Our Children Left Behind (http://www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com) (IDEA & NCLB reauthorization)