IDEA regulations are now published
At the beginning of March 1999, as part of the effort to strengthen educational opportunities for America's 6 million students with disabilities, the Department issued final regulations for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997. The Department had received nearly 6,000 public comments on "proposed" regulations published in October 1997. Among the highlights of the final regulations:
- IDEA establishes the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as the major tool in a student's involvement progress in the general curriculum. The regulations offer guidance on the types of issues that the IEP should address to achieve the statutory requirements.
- Students with disabilities must be included in general state and district-wide assessment programs. The regulations offer guidance about the participation of children with disabilities in these assessments.
- The 1997 amendments provide that each IEP team includes at least one of the child's regular education teachers if the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment. The regulations clarify that attendance of regular education teachers at IEP meetings will be determined on a case by case basis in an effort to be less time consuming.
- The final regulations incorporate the Department's long-standing policy that a student's right to a "free appropriate public education" is terminated upon graduation with a regular high school diploma, but not ended by any other kind of graduation certificate or diploma.
- IDEA '97 authorized schools to remove a student for up to 10 school days for minor disciplinary infractions; for up to 45 days for dangerous behavior involving weapons or drugs; gave schools the ability to ask a hearing officer to remove students who are serious threats to themselves or others. The final regulations incorporate the statutory changes; clarify that services do not need to be provided during the first 10 days in a school year that a child with a disability is removed from his or her regular placement. If a child is subsequently removed for up to 10 school days for other violations of school conduct codes, services must be provided to the extent necessary to enable the child to continue to appropriately progress in the general curriculum; appropriately advance toward the goals of the IEP.
The regulations package and additional information can be found at:
Twenty Second Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is online!
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Last Updated: 3-2-2006