on implementing special education in charter schools
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IDEA 2004 Law
The federal special education law was originally passed in 1975 as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act and it is now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It was revised and reauthorized in December, 2004 as P. L. 108-446 and is known now as “IDEA 2004.” A full copy of the law and the IDEA regulations that were issued in August 2006 can be downloaded at: http://www.nichcy.org/idea.htm.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has a website that also contains copies of the IDEA law and regulations at: http://idea.ed.gov. This website is rich in resources about IDEA including documents, videos and other sources of information about IDEA.
On December 1, 2008, the Department of Education issued revisions to parts of the 2006 IDEA Regulations. The Federal Register full notice is available online at: http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2008-4/120108a.pdf This notice also contains explanations of the comments received when these regulations were proposed and the decision the Department made in response to each comment. The actual final regulations are on the last 3 pages of this 25 page document. The changes these amendments make that are of most interest to charter schools are in the following areas:
1) Responsibility of the school/district when a parent revokes consent for special education for theii child (300.9(c)(3);
2) Responsibility of the school/district if a parent fails to respond to a request for, or refuses to consent to, the initial provision of special education and related services (300.300(b)(3);
3) The determination of whether parents can be represented at a due process hearing by a non-attorney is left up to the decision of each state. (300.512(a)(1); and
4) Changes in the sections of the law that cover monitoring and enforcement (300.600) and in some aspects of how states distribute IDEA funds.