OSEP Update

OSEP Update


Volume 3     Issue 8


SSIP Implementation Support Activities

SSIP visits are in full swing.  OSEP has worked on-site with a number of States during the month of August and there are more on the calendar through September.  Additionally, OSEP will be providing support via phone calls for those States that did not request on site visits.

States are taking in depth looks at data and infrastructure to select a State-identified Measureable Result which will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for children with disabilities.

Many States have included partners from across offices, stakeholders within their States and Technical Assistance providers in their conversations around the SSIP.  OSEP is pleased to see how the SSIP has developed into an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and leverage resources. 

We recognize that States are at different places in the work and OSEP is working hard to individualize and target the support and TA.  Thank you for your hard work and please continue to keep in touch with your State Contact as you move through this process. 


Personnel Preparation

OSEP awarded 17 grants to 15 institutions to prepare graduate students for leadership positions in special education, early intervention and related services.

The purposes of this program are to:

  • help address state-identified needs for highly qualified personnel—in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education—to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and
  • ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

Grant recipients include Bowie State University, Clemson University, Drexel University, Florida State University, Ohio State University, State University of New York, University at Albany, University of Florida, University of Kansas Center for Research, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University of North Carolina, University of South Florida, University of Texas at Austin and Vanderbilt University.


Progress: Teachers, Leaders and Students Transforming Education

Progress is a blog highlighting innovative ideas, promising practices, lessons learned and resources informed by the implementation of K-12 reforms to improve education for all students, inlcuding students with disabilities.

Stories include North Carolina's Iredell Statesvill Schools initiative designed to raise academic achievement amongst their high-needs students, English learners and students with disabilities. In 2010, I-SS received the $4.99 million Development grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation(i3) competition that is making this possible.  Details about the initiative and its impact are on the blog. 


Annual Reports to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabiities Education Act

The U.S. Department of Education released to the public the:

  • 32nd Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2010 
  • 33rdAnnual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with  Disabilities Education Act, 2011
  • 34th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2012
  • 35th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2013

Section 664(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the U.S. Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities.  

The 32nd through 35th Annual Reports to Congress contain six major sections that address the five annual report requirements contained in section 664(d) of IDEA.  Sections I and II of the reports contain national data and state-level data, respectively, pertinent to Parts B and C of the IDEA.  The remaining four sections of the report include: a summary and analysis of the Department of Education’s findings and determinations regarding the extent to which states are meeting the requirements of Parts B and C of the IDEA; a summary of special education research conducted under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002; a summary of national special education studies and evaluations conducted under section 664 of the IDEA; and a summary of the extent and progress of the assessment of national activities, which focus on determining the effectiveness of the IDEA and improving its implementation.


Improving College Opportunity

The White House announced a number of developments in the effort to expand college opportunity (fact sheet):

  • The White House will host another College Opportunity Summit on December 4.  The goal is to build on the work launched in the first summit last January, while launching initiatives in new areas.  This second summit will focus on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships (see recap of July 31 workshop) and supporting colleges to work together to dramatically improve persistence and increase college completion, especially for first-generation, low-income, and under-represented students.
  • Since January, 14 additional community colleges made commitments to implement strategies to help improve college persistence and completion for students who enter college academically under-prepared, including reducing the need for excess developmental courses via better curricular alignment; redesigning assessment and placement to more accurately identify students’ academic needs; and improving design and delivery to accelerate student progress, ensure the relevancy of instruction, and provide better student supports.
  • The Department’s Institute for Education Studies (IES) is launching a new Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness led by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the social policy research firm MDRC that will work to strengthen the research, evaluation, and support of college-readiness efforts across the nation.




July was a busy month!

The 2014 OSEP Project Directors' Conference was held July 21–23, 2014, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This conference included OSEP's discretionary grantees and many high quality plenary, large group and breakout sessions from which to choose.

Beginning on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 23 and continuing, Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July 25, OSEP staff offered sessions related to RDA. Wednesday and Thursday included plenary and breakout sessions on key SSIP Phase I topics, such as data analysis, infrastructure analysis and stakeholder involvement.  In addition to OSEP-led sessions, staff provided opportunities for State-to-State dialogue.  Friday States met with State Contacts and other OSEP staff to discuss State-specific issues.

Finally, the Joint Federal Meeting, Coordinated by the National Title I Association, included representatives from Title I, Title III, IDEA, and School Turnaround (SIG) in Washington, DC, on Thursday, July 24th.   This was an excellent opportunity to work collaboratively with other Federal programs. 

These meetings were of great success.  Thank you for your meaningful participation.




OSERS/OSEP Notice of Final Priority (NFP) and Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for Technical Assistance on State Data Collection--IDEA Fiscal Data Center (CFDA No. 84.373F).

The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announced a priority under the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection program.  We take this action to focus attention on an identified need to provide technical assistance (TA) to improve the capacity of States to meet the data collection requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The purpose of this priority is to establish a Fiscal IDEA Data Center (Center) to provide States with TA for meeting their fiscal data collection and reporting under IDEA.

  • Publication Date/Applications Available: August 11, 2014.
  • Deadline for Applications:   September 10, 2014.
  • Contact person for the 84.373F competition: Matthew Schneer. 

The notices can be reviewed at the following Federal Register Web site:

NFP:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-11/pdf/2014-18968.pdf  

NIA:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-11/pdf/2014-18967.pdf 


Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States

Schools in the United States have always welcomed new immigrant children to their classrooms – according to the most recent data, there were more than 840,000 immigrant students in the United States, and more than 4.6 million English learners. We have begun to receive inquiries regarding educational services for a specific group of immigrant children who have been in the news – children from Central America who have recently crossed the U.S. - Mexico border.

The Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States Fact Sheet provides information to help education leaders better understand the responsibilities of States and local educational agencies in connection with such students, and the existing resources available to help educate all immigrant students – including children who recently arrived in the United States.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

The Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) invite the public to submit comments and recommendations to help implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  This new law seeks to maximize opportunities for youth and adults -- with and without disabilities -- to succeed in postsecondary education and in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand jobs.  Specifically, the offices are seeking comments on amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 made by Title IV of WIOA and the new version of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in Title II of WIOA.  Please submit feedback online by August 29.

Also, on August 28, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, OCTAE will host a webinar on WIOA, providing a broad overview of the legislation, key dates for implementation, and useful information on resources and materials for adult education and literacy partners and stakeholders.  The event will feature a panel of representatives from OSERS and the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor.  For other WIOA updates and resources, visit the OCTAE, OSERS, and Labor web sites.


$250 Million Preschool Development Grants Competition

The goal of the Preschool Development Grants is to support states in building, developing, and expanding voluntary, high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities for children from low- and moderate-income families.  The grants will be jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (fact sheet and blog post.)

There are two categories of Preschool Development Grants:

  • Development Grants -- for states with either small (currently serve less than 10% of four-year-olds) or no state-funded preschool programs.  Awards will range from $5 million to $20 million each year, based on a four-year budget.  The agencies anticipate awarding 5-8 grants (for a total of $80 million).
  • Expansion Grants -- for states that have more robust (currently serve at least 10% of four-year-olds) state-funded preschool programs or have received a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant.  Awards will range from $10 million to $35 million each year, based on a four-year budget.  The agencies anticipate awarding 7-12 grants (for a total of $160 million).