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Special-education-related guidance documents rescinded

Among the things that could influence how school districts act when it comes to special education matters is what the federal government has said on the matters. There are many issues related to special education that the federal government has laws and rules on. The federal government sometimes issues guidance documents on these laws and rules. These documents are typically aimed at providing explanations of what schools and school districts are supposed to do to comply with these laws and regulations.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education decided to rescind some of these documents. Specifically, 72 guidance documents related to special education and rehabilitation services were withdrawn. The bulk of these documents were from the Office of Special Education Programs.

The withdrawn documents vary greatly in how long they had been in place. Some were put in place decades ago. Others had been around for only a few years. The rescinded documents also vary considerably in the topics they cover. Some examples of the topics they touch on include:

  • Due process.
  • Private placements.
  • Least restrictive environment.
  • Special education funding.
  • Transitions.

The rescinding of these documents is part of the Education Department’s efforts following an executive order by President Trump directing the federal government to cut down on “unnecessary regulatory burdens.” According to an Education Department official, after this order was issued, a review was conducted of guidance documents issued by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to determine if any of them “were outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.”

One wonders if the rescinding of these documents will have any impacts on the way school districts act when it comes to special education issues. One also wonders what other things the Education Department will end up doing in relation to guidance documents in upcoming months and years.

How school districts act regarding special education issues can have major ramifications for students. So, it can be an incredibly frustrating situation for a parent when they have concerns about the way their special needs child’s education is being handled by a school district and the school district isn’t responding to their concerns or doesn’t seem to be taking them seriously. When this tough situation arises, parents can go to experienced education lawyers for guidance on what they can do in their efforts to have their voice heard and to get their child the education resources and services they need.

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