In 2011, the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded The Center for Online Learning and Students with Disabilities (Center) to research how online learning can be made more accessible. The Center also identifies promising practices for K-12 children with disabilities by investigating approaches that address variations in student learning styles within the range of online learning options.
OSEP has received a number of questions from stakeholders, including State and school personnel and advocacy organizations, regarding the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities attending public virtual schools. Therefore, OSEP issued this letter to clarify some of the critical requirements in Part B of IDEA that apply to virtual schools.
The US Department of Education (USDOE) has determined that this letter is significant guidance under the Office of Management and Budget’s Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices, 72 Fed. Reg. 3432 (2007). Significant guidance is non-binding and does not create or impose new legal requirements. The USDOE issued this letter to provide SEAs, LEAs and other public agencies with information to assist them in meeting their obligations under the IDEA and implementing regulations (34 CFR–part 300). This guidance also provides members of the public with information about their rights under the law and regulations.