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 August 18, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the August 18 meeting.
The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services Funding and Finance Unit have re-posted the 2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement allocations for Arizona public schools. The new posting is due to new calculations for district-sponsored charter schools. All other allocations remain the same. The allocation list can be accessed at http://www.azed.gov/special-education/funding/.
The 2015 IDEA application is currently being developed in the ADEConnect grants management system (GME). The ESS Funding and Finance Unit will notify grantees, via the ESS listserv and Director’s Corner, when the grant application is available. The grants management system will have information on the status of the application posted on the GME homepage as well.
Arizona Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services
Funding and Finance Unit
President Barack Obama signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act (or the Autism CARES Act) on August 8, 2014. This Act reauthorizes the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2006. It is tailored to help expand research, awareness, surveillance, interdisciplinary training, and support and involves efforts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). To read a summary of this new law, go to http://www.azed.gov/special-education/files/2014/08/autism-cares-act-summary.pdf.
Completion reports are now available for the grants listed below:
IDEA – Charter School Expansion Act
IDEA – Emergency
IDEA – High Cost Child
Important points to remember before starting completion reports:
- Completion Report(s) must be completed in the new Grants Management System.
- Completion Report(s) initiated in the old system may require re-entry or revision.
- All reimbursement requests must be in paid status.
- If you have a reimbursement request that is still waiting for ADE approval or to be paid, contact Grants Management for review of any issues that might be present.
- All revisions must be completed as you will not be able to revise the project once the status has been changed to completion report draft started.
- Click on CR Draft Started to begin the completion report process.
- Complete all sections, paying close attention to Warning Messages.
Questions can be e-mailed to ESSFunding@azed.gov or call 602-542-3851.
If you’d like to learn more about universal design for learning, a good place to start is with Take a tour of UDL Resources. This link will lead you to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning’s added pages about universal design to build your own background knowledge and skill and those of your teachers. UDL is based on a variety of fields—education, psychology, and neuroscience—and is organized around three learning networks of the brain. After exploring all these resources, you’ll be more informed and up to date in this field.
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell have announced that applications are now available for the $250 million Preschool Development Grants competition. It’s for states that want to develop or expand high-quality preschool programs. To read the announcement from both departments, see http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-secretary-duncan-and-health-and-human-services-secretary-burwell-annou. A flyer is available at this link: http://www.azed.gov/special-education/files/2014/08/ec-grant.pdf.
The Center for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) recently published a five-page informational bulletin, “Clarification of Medicaid Coverage of Services to Children with Autism,” which is found at: http://www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Downloads/CIB-07-07-14.pdf. The document discusses preventative and diagnostic services, as well as therapy services. It’s technical, but it includes a way to ask questions about these services: AutismServicesQuestions@cms.hhs.gov.
To keep special educators (and directors) up on alternate assessment news, our monthly newsletter, Tidbits, addresses topics of interest and important dates for pilot testing and assessments. This month’s newsletter focuses on increasing performance expectations and Results Driven Accountability. To access the newsletter, go to http://www.azed.gov/assessment/aims-a/ and click on Newsletters.
President Obama recently signed the bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes the Workforce Incentive Act, which includes the vocational rehabilitation programs. A one-page summary of the legislation is at http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/workforce_innovation_and_opportunity_act_-_one_pager.pdf. Prominent in the information presented is the fact that individuals with disabilities have the highest rate of unemployment of any group, and more than two-thirds don’t participate in the workforce. If you’re interested in the entire bill, search for H.R. 803 at http://thomas.loc.gov.
The US Department of Education (ED) has issued a press release on keeping students and parents informed about what kinds of student data is collected and how it will be used. Schools are urged to be proactive in communicating how they use student data and to have answers to questions ready before they are asked. Here’s the links to the privacy center: http://ptac.ed.gov/ and the guidance document: http://ptac.ed.gov/sites/default/files/LEA%20Transparency%20Best%20Practices%20final.pdf.