IDEA Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary with New Website: IDEAs That Work

As part of the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the US Department of Education has launched a new website entitled IDEAs that Work: Preparing Children and Youth with Disabilities for Success ( This additional support for teachers and families of students with disabilities is designed to connect teachers and families with resources to assist them in supporting the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students as they become college and career ready.

President Gerald Ford signed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (which is now known as IDEA) on Nov. 29, 1975. To learn more about the 40th anniversary celebration and to view a video about the history of IDEA, see these links: 40th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and

AZ TASH Opens Nominations Period for 2016 Awards

Arizona TASH opened the nominations period for the 2016 Awards. Please consider nominating a deserving individual who should be recognized for their efforts to promote inclusive communities. Read more about the awards and find the nomination forms at

USDOE Issues Guidance and Solicits Ideas on Implementing IEP Goals at Students’ Enrolled Grade Levels

The US Department of Education (ED) has disseminated a Dear Colleague letter emphasizing that NCLB and IDEA regulations require students’ IEP goals to be aligned with curriculum from the grade level the child is enrolled in so that students with disabilities have meaningful access to state academic content standards (guidance-on-fape-11-17-2015.pdf). The overall focus of the requirements is to prepare students with disabilities for further education, employment, and independent living.

The letter also requests your comments so that better implementation of the requirements can occur (both in all special education populations and with English language learners). ED is interested in examples of models of alignment of IEP goals with state content standards that are working well at the state and local levels. If you are interested in commenting, please e-mail your comments to or write to US Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP Room 5139, Washington, DC 20202-2600.


OSERS Policy Guidance Clarifying Use of Terms Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia In IDEA

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) has received communications from stakeholders, including parents, advocacy groups, and national disability organizations, who believe that state and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) are reluctant to reference or use dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, or in developing the individualized education program (IEP) under the IDEA.

This policy guidance letter clarifies that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.

AmeriCorps National Competitive Funding Opportunity for 2015–2016 Announced

The Arizona Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism is providing information about competitive funds available through AmeriCorps grants. The Corporation for National and Community Service administer the grants, and awards will be made at the national level. Arizona organizations that seek to propose a program for Arizona are encouraged to apply through the online grant application, eGrants. The Governor’s Commission will submit the ranked applications to the Corporation.

To learn more about the grant, see the application materials on this page: AmeriCorps State and National Grants FY 2016. Additional support materials can be found on this page: Additional AmeriCorps Resources. For more about the AmeriCorps program grants awarded through the national competitive funding last spring, please visit this page.

SEAA and Talk with ADE Meetings–October 30, 2015

SEAA and Talk with ADE Meetings                                                   

October 30, 2015

SEAA Meeting, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Talk with ADE Meeting, 9:45 AM – 11:00 AM 

 There are two ways to attend the Talk with ADE (agenda) and SEAA meetings. You can attend the meetings in person or join the meetings via webinar.

 If you are attending the meetings in person


 Space is limited. If you do not RSVP and the room is at capacity, you can be asked to leave by orders of the fire marshal.

If you are joining the meetings via webinar

The meetings also will be available by webinar, which allows for remote participation using your computer and telephone (or only the telephone). Read the instructions below to register and participate remotely. Note that advance registration is required.

Webinar registration for Talk with ADE and SEAA meetings on Friday, October 30, 2015, 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM MST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing additional information and directions on how to join the meetings.

SELECT 2016 Survey of Course Needs

The SELECT 2016 Survey of Course Needs is now available. Northern Arizona University is interested in your input for our 2016 course offerings. Please take a few minutes to let us know which class topics you would like to see on our Spring, Summer, and Fall schedules. You can access the survey at:

 If you have questions, contact SELECT directly by email at and by phone at 928-523-9250 or 928-523-1809.

Celebrating 40 Years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

As part of the celebration of 40 years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)  wants to hear from individuals with disabilities—especially children and youth with disabilities—parents, teachers, researchers, and all other IDEA stakeholders about the personal impact this law has had on them.

  • How has IDEA made a difference to you?
  • What do inclusion, equity, and opportunity look like for you?

Share your art, photographs and stories by November 6, 2015 to the IDEA 40th Anniversary Web site ( for possible use for upcoming events in Washington, D.C. celebrating the 40th Anniversary of IDEA.

2016 IDEA Basic Entitlement Allocations Reasons for Decrease

The 2016 IDEA Basic Entitlement Application is available in the Arizona Department of Education Grants Management system and the 2016 IDEA Basic Entitlement Allocations are posted on the ESS website at Individual local education agencies (LEAs) may see a decrease in their allocations. There are multiple reasons why this could have occurred.

  • The IDEA grant to Arizona did not increase; therefore, the allocation amount to distribute to all eligible LEAs remained the same as FY 2015.
  • During 2015, approximately 145 charter schools submitted the IDEA Charter School Expansion Act (CSEA) application, in which they identified special education eligible students enrolling in their charter during 2015. Within that application, they reported the district/charter from which the student withdrew. Each of these students was moved from the prior LEA to the new/expanding charter in the base special education counts for each of these prior district/charters and the new/expanding charter.
  • Individual LEAs may have had a decrease in their 10/1/14 enrollment and poverty counts as compared to counts reported 10/1/13.
  • Districts may have had a decrease in the reported number of parentally placed private school or home schooled students within their district boundaries reported 10/1/14 as compared to the reported counts on 10/1/13. This would affect the total enrollment used in the formula.
  • There was an increase in the number of Arizona LEAs eligible for IDEA funds due to new non-profit charter schools opening during the 2014/2015 school year.
  • The increases in the total special education base count, total enrollment, and students living in poverty resulted in the funds being spread further among eligible LEAs.

2016 IDEA Basic Entitlement Application

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Service division is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 IDEA Basic Entitlement application. The purpose of these funds is to assist in assuring that all children with disabilities, aged 3 through 21, have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs. A LEA may use the funds under Part B for the excess costs of providing special education and related services. It is strongly recommended that you download the 2016 IDEA Basic Application Download and worksheets prior to the final online application submission. You may confirm your FY 2016 allocation by viewing the 2016 IDEA Basic Entitlement Allocations at