January 2023 OESO Message

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

January 2023 OESO Message

Dear Special Education Directors,

As the school year enters its second half, we hope this message finds you well and that you are energized for the work ahead. We know that, as special education directors, you have a lot on your plate and that your role is crucial in ensuring that all students, including those experiencing disabilities, have the support and resources they need to succeed. Thank you for all that you do for Oregon’s students, schools, and communities. This email contains some important updates and information to support you in that important work. As always, feel free to reach out to your district support specialist or anyone in OESO with questions or for support.

2022 Tax Exemption Information for Parents of Children Experiencing Disabilities

The Oregon Tax Code provides an additional tax exemption for parents of children experiencing disabilities. ODE has updated a memo providing information about this tax exemption in advance of the 2022 filing deadline. Please share this information with your communities as appropriate. We also want to ensure you are aware that versions of this memo are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The following summary provides information for staff and parents regarding the Oregon tax exemption for parents of children experiencing disabilities. Feel free to share this information as appropriate in your district and with parents.

The procedure for claiming an exemption for the 2022 tax year is explained in the Oregon Individual Income Tax Return and Instruction booklets.

Who qualifies for the exemption?

A child qualifies if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Qualifies as a dependent of the parent(s) for tax year 2022;
  • Is eligible for early intervention services (birth to age 3), early childhood special education services (ages 3 to 5), or receives special education as defined by the State Board of Education of the state where the child attends school; and,
  • Is considered to have a disability as of December 31, 2022 under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and related Oregon laws.

What documentation must be submitted with the tax return to qualify for this exemption?

As the tax instruction booklet indicates, the child must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), as well as a current eligibility statement as a student with a disability. If you do not have these documents contact your District for a copy of the IEP/IFSP cover sheet, and eligibility statement. Copies of the IEP/IFSP cover sheet and eligibility statement are not required to be submitted with the tax return. However, parents are advised to retain a copy with their 2022 tax records as the Oregon Department of Revenue may ask the parents to provide such documentation.

Oregon Department of Revenue Online Instructions and Forms

For further information and assistance in completing Oregon tax forms, consult a tax professional or contact the Oregon Department of Revenue at 1-800-356-4222. Oregon income tax forms/publications are available at the DOR website (www.oregon.gov/DOR). That process will allow you to claim the additional tax exemption for the 2021 year.

Parent Support Process

ODE has developed a new resource that can be used to help parents access support with special education questions. It is available on the main ODE special education website, and discusses a process for getting support that promotes resolving concerns as close to a student as possible. The resource is currently available in English and is being translated into other languages to be accessible to as many Oregon parents as possible. ODE will post translated versions as soon as they are available.

Alongside that resource, OESO has established two new avenues that parents, families, and community members can use to receive support related to special education questions:

We encourage you to share these resources with families as helpful.

Canceling Special Education Director's January Meeting

At the request of several special education directors, we are canceling our January director's call. We have heard from a number of you that you will be at the 2023 OACOA/OASE Winter Conference being hosted by Salishan Coastal Lodge and that the special education director's meeting scheduled for that time presents a challenge to those of you planning to attend. OESO staff will be available at the conference from January 24-27, 2023 in place of this month’s call. Your district support specialist is also available if you have any questions and will not be at the OACOA/OASE Winter Conference.

OARs Related to SB 13 and SB 16

ODE has been working through engagement processes for the revision of 13 OARs related to special education as a result of the passage of SB 13 and SB 16 in 2019. Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join our sessions on the proposed updates. We deeply appreciate the time people took to share their expertise with our team. These revisions are being proposed for the following purposes:

  • Updates to eligibility category names (domain 1)
  • Updates the list of professionals who can complete medical, health, audiological, and vision assessments (domain 2A)
  • Reduces the number of eligibility categories that require a medical, health, audiological, and vision assessments (domain 2B)
  • Integrates eligibility requirements for EI/ECSE and school age populations (domain 3)

Summary of Proposed Changes

Changes from domain 1 reflect updated disability category names that are already included in Oregon Revised Statute, but have not been updated in associated OARs (i.e., speech or language impairment in place of communication disorder, emotional behavior disability in place of emotional disturbance). 

Changes in domain 2A expand the list of professionals who can complete medical examinations, vision examinations, and audiological assessments as part of an initial evaluation or reevaluation.

Changes in domain 2B remove the requirement for a medical examination for the following five disability categories (but a team can still choose to obtain this medical examination when they determine it necessary for an individual child): Developmental Delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Speech or Language Impairment, Emotional Behavior Disability, and Specific Learning Disability. 

Changes in domain 3 integrates EI/ECSE and school age eligibility requirements to support understanding of eligibility requirements across a child’s entire educational career.

Summary of Engagement Input

Below is a brief overview of our learnings from these engagement processes: 

Engagement Feedback on Required Updates:

  • Attendees were in favor of the updates to the names of categories, with particular appreciation for the update to emotional disturbance. 
    • However, the update from Autism to Autism Spectrum Disorder was noted to be a move toward pathologizing and away from the community preferred term. Unfortunately, this nomenclature update is required by SB 13.
  • Similarly, there was deep appreciation for the updates to the medical examination and the addition of audiological and vision assessment options. 
    • Attendees shared how these statements acted as an unnecessary barrier to eligibility, particularly for the categories that will no longer mandate a medical examination as part of an initial or reevaluation.

Engagement Feedback on Proposed Integration:

  • Attendees repeatedly expressed an appreciation for the integration of EI and ECSE standards into school age conceptually and found it would be useful particularly for children transitioning between EI, ECSE, and school age services. 
  • However, it was also noted by some that the drafts shared during community engagement were: difficult to consume, the formatting was challenging to parse, and the proposed language significantly increased the length and complexity of the OARs which decreased readability. 

Other Engagement Feedback: 

  • Additional considerations were also identified, including 
    • Confusion between the OAR language and the use of ODE standard eligibility form which will require updates;
    • The need for additional updates, beyond those included in the scope of the draft rules proposed, including the need to increase the cultural responsiveness of the eligibility and evaluation process;
    • The need for student information systems to be updated to reflect the new OAR language; as well as,
    • The need for implementation supports such as guidance on eligibility and evaluation requirements and best practices. 

Based on the feedback received, we revised the draft OARs to decrease the length while increasing the readability of the rules. You can find copies of the updated language for each of the 13 rules we are proposing here


We plan to present these draft rules to the State Board for a first reading on January 19, 2023. We have drafted a brief, optional survey to record your feedback on the revised rule language if you have input you wish to share. The survey, which also includes copies of the draft language, can be found at this link. The survey will remain open until February 1, 2023.

You can also submit input directly to the State Board of Education related to these rules, if preferred. Written comments or testimony can be sent in advance of the meeting to StateBoard.PublicEmail@ode.oregon.gov, or by mail to the State Board of Education, 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem, OR 97310. If you submit input, please label the subject line as: “Public comment: OARs Related to SB 13 and SB 16”.

We would greatly appreciate any further feedback you have to offer!

Reminder of Focused Monitoring Processes Related to Abbreviated School Day Program Placements

We are also grateful to each of you for your work associated with focused monitoring of all abbreviated school day program placements in Oregon during the 2023-23 school year. We’ve discussed the two separate mechanisms being used for this process previously. As a reminder, all districts are required to complete these two processes related to this focused monitoring process: (1) a validated self-assessment process, and (2) a monthly data submission for abbreviated school day program placements that last longer than 30 school days.

More information about the validated self-assessment process is available in this presentation. Please remember that the first submission related to this process, a list of all students to be reviewed, is due via secure file transfer no later than January 19, 2023. That information can be submitted using this Excel workbook.

Additionally, throughout the 2022-23 school year, ODE is requiring that school districts submit information monthly about every student who has received an abbreviated school day for 30 or more school days. Submissions for this process are due via Secure File Transfer to ode.oeso.monitoring@ode.oregon.gov no later than the end of each month (i.e., October 31, November 30, December 31, January 31, February 28, March 31, April 30, May 31, June 30). School districts that do not have any student receiving an abbreviated school day program should submit the workbook with an indication that there are no students to report (e.g., “None” listed in the SSID column [cell A2] for the applicable month). This submission will allow OESO to verify that all districts have responded as required.

If you have any questions about either of these processes, please reach out to your district support specialist.


We hope that this message has shared helpful information, and we thank you for all that you do to support special education in your schools and communities. We are grateful to have you as part of the special education community and appreciate all that you do. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or needs as you continue to navigate the school year.


The Office of Enhancing Student Opportunities