Public Comment Sought on Disproportionality in Special Education

The US Department of Education is requesting public comment on actions it should take in addressing disproportionality related to race and ethnicity among special education populations. This issue may affect the identification, placement, and discipline of children with disabilities. Comments will be accepted through July 31, 2014, related to several questions: proposed regulations regarding a standard approach to determination and other possible actions and research. Click HERE to download a copy of the Federal Register document that requested public comment (published June 19, 2014). And to make your comments, go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Then type in Special Ed Disproportionality on the search line.



FUNDING ALERT: 2015 IDEA Basic Allocations Available 7/31/14

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services Funding and Finance Unit is in the process of finalizing the 2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement allocations for Arizona public schools. This information should be available on or about July 31, 2014. At that time, the allocation list will be posted to http://www.azed.gov/all-programs/, Federal Programs, Special Education.

Arizona Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services
Funding and Finance Unit
ESSFunding@azed.gov



Competition Announced for Improving Students’ Postsecondary and Job Outcomes

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has announced a new competition in the Federal Register. The competition will select an organization to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities. Because many students with disabilities continue to struggle in completing high school and gaining the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, OSERS and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) are collaborating to support this technical assistance center. The center will coordinate its expertise and resources and build capacity by implementing evidence-based practices and strategies in state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and vocational rehabilitation (VR) service agencies.

The Federal Register notice can be accessed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-02/pdf/2014-15437.pdf. This competition is open to SEAs, LEAs (including charter schools that are considered LEAs under state law), VR agencies, institutes of higher education (IHEs), other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, outlying areas, freely associated states, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, and for-profit organizations. The Department intends to fund one project for $2.5 million a year for 5 years. The deadline for submitting completed applications is Monday, August 18, 2014.



Excellent Educators for All Initiative Announced

The Department of Education (ED) has recently posted a new press release about the announced teacher equity initiative. The initiative is aimed at helping states and school districts support great educators for the students who need them most–low-income students in high-need schools. To read the press release, go to http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/new-initiative-provide-all-students-access-great-educators. To read the letter addressed to the chief state school officers, click here.



Bulletin on Medicaid Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Issued

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released a new informational bulletin on services that are available to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) under the Medicaid program. The five-page informational bulletin can be accessed at http://www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Downloads/CIB-07-07-14.pdf



Special Education Rule Committee 6-23-14 Communique

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 Rule Making Communique, June 23-24 for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the meetings held June 23rd and June 24th.



Special Education Rule Committee 06/09/14 Communique

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 June 9, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the June 9 meeting.



Group Publishes White Paper on Supports for Brain Injured Students

The National Collaborative on Children’s Brain Injury (NCCBI) has written a white paper geared toward developing supports for brain injured students (published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation). Written to improve outcomes for students with brain injuries in school systems, it discusses assessment practices, communication with medical professionals, progress tracking, and professional development. For more on this, see the article in http://journals.lww.com/headtraumarehab/Fulltext/2014/05000/Building_Statewide_Infrastructure_for_Effective.5.aspx.



New School Resource Available for Policymakers and Community Leaders

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has released a new resource to “demystify” public education for those outside the educational realm. Directed to government officials, policymakers, community members, and business leaders, the revised resource, How Schools Work and How to Work with Schools, is for anyone who is interested in improving the health, safety, and well-being of students and ensuring they are successful in school. The resource is available for reading or for download at http://www.nasbe.org/wp-content/uploads/NASBE-HSW-FINAL.pdf.



How Individualized Learning Plans for High School Students Are Used in the U.S.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is studying how various states are implementing the use of individualized learning plans (ILPs) for high school students. Arizona initiated its version of the ILP, the Education and Career Action Plan or ECAP, in 2008. To read the ODEP brief, go to Individualized Learning Plans Across the U.S. and to view the accompanying map, go to Interactive Policy Map. To learn more about ILPs, you may also want to download some of NCWD/Youth’s resources: Individualized Learning Plan Fact Sheet; Promoting Quality Individualized Learning Plans: A “How to Guide” Focused on the High School Years; and Using Individualized Learning Plans to Produce College and Career Ready High School Graduates. Others of its resources are also available at Using Individualized Learning Plans to Produce College and Career Ready High School Graduates.