The U.S. Department of Education has recently prepared and posted three new documents. The first is an English language learner toolkit helpful for identifying students, assuring access, and evaluating programs. It is helpful to use this letter in conjunction with the “Dear Colleague” letter issued in January 2015. The toolkit is available at this address: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html.
The second is an Office for Civil Rights (OCR) report on its yearly activities for the president and the secretary of education. The report, “Protecting Civil Rights: Advancing Equity,” discusses how OCR has evolved to meet changing needs and addresses Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Discrimination Based on Disability. This report is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/ocr/report-to-president-and-secretary-of-education-2013-14.pdf. Another package of information from OCR is available in regard to implementation of Title IX. The material for this third collection is available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/ocr/title-ix-coordinators.html.
The State of Arizona is migrating to a new accounting system at the end of the fiscal year. In order to transition to the new system, all payments must be processed in the legacy accounting system by the end of June. To facilitate this transition, please submit all reimbursement requests by June 15th. Approval of reimbursement requests submitted after June 15th will be delayed until the new accounting system goes live on July 7th. We will keep you informed of any changes in these dates.
If you should have any questions, please contact the Grants Management hotline at 602-542-3901 or GrantsManagementGroup@azed.gov.
USDOE Requests Comments On Proposed Policy Statement On Inclusion of Young Children with Disabilities in High-Quality Inclusive EC Programs
The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are proposing to release a policy statement on inclusion of young children with disabilities in high-quality inclusive early childhood programs. It is the purpose of this blog (blog link below) to request comments on the proposed statement. Within the blog, please review the attached draft policy statement and provide comments no later than 6:00pm EDT, Friday, May 22, 2015. Click the link below to read the entire blog with the Draft Policy Statement and Executive Summary.
Some public agencies may be filing due process complaints concerning the same issue that is the subject of an ongoing State complaint resolution, ostensibly to delay the State complaint process and force parents to participate in, or ignore at considerable risk, due process complaints and hearings. As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, this moves parents into a more adversarial and costly dispute resolution process and is not in the best interest of children. Note that this letter clarifies existing requirements relative to the IDEA provisions for State complaints and due process, and does not change the requirements or add additional burden.
Empowering Families A Spanish Conference for Families Offering Special Needs Resources and Information. Raising Special Kids is sponsoring a Spanish conference, Empowering Families, on June 6, 2015. All presentations and materials will be exclusively in Spanish. Date: Saturday, June 6, 2015 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Location: Disability Empowerment Center 5025 East Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 Registration is required. Space is limited, so please register today.
The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the April 10, 2015, and April 24, 2015, Rule Making Communiques for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the April 10 and 24 meeting.
2015 Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair
The flyer and letter from Superintendent Diane M. Douglas were recently sent to Human Resource Directors at districts and charter schools. They contain information about our Tenth Annual Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair that will be taking place on April 25, 2015. The Teach-In is the largest education job fair in Arizona, with an average of 800 candidates attending each year. The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services strongly recruits special education and related services candidates from both in-state and out-of-state universities to attend the Teach-In. If you will be in need of special education personnel, we recommend that you encourage your district/charter to attend. Registration information can be found at www.teachinaz.com.
The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS), has released a grant that will help local education agencies (LEAs) to grow their own special education teachers. An Arizona school district or non-profit charter school with a current or anticipated special education need may apply for an eligible paraprofessional who has the desire, motivation, and commitment to complete college coursework requirements that will lead to a bachelor’s degree in special education or early childhood special education and to acquire a special education certificate within six months after completing the teacher preparation program.
Grant Proposal Email Submission Deadline: June 1, 2015
For more information, contact Celia Kujawski, IDEA Capacity-Building Grant Coordinator, at Celia.Kujawski@azed.gov.