March OSEP Update

March OSEP Update


Volume 4 Issue 3

What's New?

Notice Inviting Applicants

The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities--Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services was published in the Federal Register on Friday, February, 7, 2014:

  • Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2014. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.325K.  The deadline for transmittal of applications is April 8, 2014.  The notice can be reviewed at the following Federal Register Website:

SSIP Phase I Support

To support States in development of Phase I of their State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs), OSEP staff will participate in several upcoming meetings:

  • Northeast Regional Resource Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, March 19 - 20 -- Regional meeting for State teams (Part C and Part B)
  • Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center, Phoenix, Arizona, March 31 - April 1 -- Regional meeting for State teams (Part C and Part B)
  • Capacity Building Institute hosted by NSTTAC, NPSO, NDPC-SD and IDEA Partnership, Charlotte, North Carolina, May 13 - 16 -- Interdisciplinary State teams will focus on postsecondary outcomes, including inclusion of those outcomes in the SSIP.

This Spring, OSEP will be announcing additional activities to support States in the development of their SSIPs.


In the News

Budget Proposal

On March 4, President Obama released his proposed 2015 budget.  The link below will take you to the Budget Summary and Congressional Justification.  See Section J for information on IDEA. 

For 2015, the Administration seeks to make key investments in six priority education areas:

  • Increasing equity and opportunity for all students;
  • Strengthening support for teachers and leaders;
  • Expanding high-quality preschool programs;
  • Improving affordability, quality, and success in post secondary education;
  • Promoting education innovation and improvement; and
  • Improving school safety and climate.

IDEA received a slight increase for Part B section 611 and Part C.  

Our budget proposal includes an exciting competitive grant opportunity for States called the RDA Incentive Grant.  If funded, Part B and Part C agencies will be able to apply for these grants that are designed to support States in implementing innovative and aggressive approaches to improving results through their State Systemic Improvement Plans.  (See page J-20 for more details on the RDA Incentive Grant.)  This proposed budget is with Congress for consideration.


NBA Celebrity All Star Game

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, participated in, and won the MVP for, the NBA Celebrity All-Star game wearing a number that signifies some great news – thanks to the hard work of our nation’s students, parents, and educators.

The number 80 is rarely seen on a basketball jersey but represents a record in education.  That number, 80 percent, is the newly announced high school graduation rate, the highest in American history. Never before have 4 out of 5 American students completed high school. We have further to go, but this is a moment to celebrate the hard work of our educators.

Often in sports, but rarely in education, do you hear about the heroes whose skill, hard work, creativity and tenacity resulted in an achievement the whole country should know about. We should all take heart from the passionate, caring work being done in classrooms, schools, and communities across the country.

ED Week Blog

Notable Quote

“Our parents are the greatest levers of change, and we are doing everything to empower and support them.”

--Acting Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin (1/28/14), in his interview with the Boston Parent's Paper


Letter From the Director


Dear Leaders,

March is Brain Injury Awareness month. Every year 2.4 million people including 475,000 children sustain a brain injury with many of them receiving special education services post injury. On March 12, 2014, Members of Congress will recognize Brain Injury Awareness Day by hosting various events on Capitol Hill.  

In support of brain injury and in order to raise awareness for students with traumatic brain injury, OSEP discussed Special Education and Traumatic Brain Injury on our monthly call to State Directors and Part C Coordinators on March 13th from 4-5pm.  

For more information on meeting the educational needs of children with traumatic brain injury, please read this study conducted with State Directors on this very important topic.




From the Field

Why We Teach

  • 85% of teachers say they chose the profession in order to make a difference in children’s lives.
  • 74% say they became a teacher to share their love of learning and teaching with others. 
  • 83% said they believe that teachers have the greatest impact on student achievement in school.

(From Primary Sources: A project of Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Data in primary sources comes from a nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 public school classroom teachers, conducted online by Harrison Group. The report includes a number of other interesting findings, including teachers' enthusiasm for the Common Corepassion for teaching, views about evaluation, and the time they need to collaborate with colleagues during the school day.)


Where's OSEP?

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Annual Convention and Expo 

OSEP Staff Larry Wexler, Renee Bradley, Grace Duran and Tina Diamond will accompany OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin, OSEP Director Melody Musgrove and Deputy Director Ruth Ryder to the CEC Annual Convention and Expo on April 9-12 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This convention will bring together special education teachers, administrators, researchers, professors and students from around the world to discuss pressing issues and share information in areas such as Common Core State Standards, administration, autism, co-teaching and collaboration, emotional and behavior disorders, instructional strategies for math, reading, and science, policy, technology and response to intervention.


Program Spotlight

IRIS Center The IRIS Center, headquartered at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, is a national center dedicated to improving education outcomes for all children, especially those with disabilities birth through age twenty-one, through the use of effective evidence-based practices and interventions.  Their primary objective is to create free online resources that support the implementation and use of evidence-based practices for use in preservice preparation and professional development programs. IRIS disseminates and offers trainings on those resources. For more information on how to navigate the IRIS modules see


Office of Special Education Programs 
Washington, DC, 20024
(202) 245-7426