OSEP Monthly Update


Volume 4             Issue 7

"Creating and sustaining safe, supportive schools is absolutely essential to ensuring students can engage in the rich learning experiences they need for success in college, work and life—that's why rethinking school discipline is critical to boosting student achievement and improving school outcomes…there are leaders across the country who are committed to doing this work. We are proud to stand as partners with these educators to say that we have to continue to do better for all of our students" 

 -- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (7/22/15), at the White House “Rethink Discipline" Convening


On July 22, the Departments of Education and Justice hosted teams of superintendents, principals, and teachers from across the country for “Rethink Discipline,” a day-long conference at the White House on creating positive school climates and implementing effective discipline practices. The conference was designed to advance the national conversation about reducing unnecessary out-of-school suspensions and expulsions and replacing these practices with positive alternatives that keep students in school and engaged in learning.

According to data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), over three million students are suspended or expelled every year. At the event, the Departments released new maps based on the CRDC data, illustrating out-of-school suspensions to help educators and communities understand the extent of this practice. The Departments also shared new resources to assist school leaders in their efforts:

On July 27, the Justice Department launched the National Resource Center for School Justice Partnerships, which will serve as a training and technical assistance portal for juvenile courts, schools, law enforcement agencies, and others to support reform efforts at the local level.

Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin kicked-off the social media campaign, known as #RethinkDiscipline, later that week, moderating a Google Hangout with national experts as they discussed out-of-school suspensions, their impact on students, and effective alternatives. Yudin also debuted the Department's "Hidden Cost of Suspension" interactive story maps.


On July 16, the US Senate passed The Every Child Achieves Act with a large majority, making an important step towards ESEA reauthorization (as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act). The White House stated in early July that it supported the bill, but encouraged revision. Secretary Duncan has also expressed conditional support for the bill saying, "We need to identify which schools work and which ones don't, so we can guarantee that every child will have the education they need. We cannot tolerate continued indifference to the lowest performing schools, achievement gaps that let some students fall behind, or high schools where huge numbers of students never make it to graduation...I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Alexander, Senator Murray, Chairman Kline, Representative Scott—and their colleagues—to strengthen the bill before it reaches the President's desk." 

In the wake of approved ESEA flexibility for many states, the Department of Education has continued to encourage law makers to take the appropriate action on the expired law. "We must demand an education law that provides meaningful accountability and upholds principles of equity and excellence for all students," co-authors Secretary Duncan, Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, and Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights declared in their call for action on ESEA


On July 6, OSEP published a Dear Colleague Letter to address concerns about services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The letter clarifies requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regarding the provision of related services for children with disabilities, including children with ASD.


More students will soon be connected! It's the result of ConnectHomea pilot program to expand high speed broadband launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation that will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households and nearly 200,000 children. President Obama announced the new initiative while speaking to the Choctaw Nation in Durant, OK. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector are also stepping up to help offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.     



The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Services Administration, Disability Innovation Fund-Automated Personalization Computing Project was published to the Federal Register on July 23, 2015. 

Summary: The purpose of the Disability Innovation Fund, as provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub. L. 113-76), is to support innovative activities aimed at improving the outcomes of “individuals with disabilities” by increasing access to information and communication technologies through automatic personalization of needed assistive technology, as defined in section 7(20)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. CFDA Number: 84.421A 

Dates: Deadline for Transmittal of Applications is September 8, 2015.

The following Notice of Comment Request for Information Collection for the WIOA Performance Management, Information, and Reporting System (OMB Control No. 1205-0NEW), New Collection: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Rehabilitation Services Administration was published to the Federal Register on July 22, 2015.

Summary: The Departments of Labor and Education are soliciting comments concerning collection of data that will be used to demonstrate that specified performance levels under the WIOA have been achieved. The WIOA Performance Management Information and Reporting System fulfills requirements in section 116(d)(1) of WIOA for the development of report templates for: 1) the State Performance Report for WIOA’s six core programs; 2) the Local Area Performance Report for the three title I programs; and 3) the Eligible Training Provider Report for the title I Adult and Dislocated Worker programs. FR Doc. 2015-17888

Dates: Submit written comments on or before September 21, 2015.

The following Notice of List of Correspondence From April 1, 2014 Through June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2014 Through September 30, 2014 was published to the Federal Register on July 20, 2015.

Summary: The Secretary published the following list of correspondence from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to individuals during the second and third quarters of 2014. The correspondence describes the Department's interpretations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the regulations that implement the IDEA, as well as letters and other documents that the Department believes will assist the public in understanding the requirements of the law. The list identifies the date and topic of each letter and provides summary information, as appropriate. This list and the letters or other documents described in this list, with personally identifiable information redacted, as appropriate, can be found on the Department websiteFR Doc. 2015-17766

Letter from the Director

Melody Musgrove


Dear Leaders,

Our 2015 OSEP Leadership Conference was a success! In the words of keynote speaker, Anne Mosle, “Relationships are primary. Everything else is secondary.” We hope this year’s conference provided you with the opportunity to build relationships and learn from colleagues across States, projects, and centers.

This year we had over 1,120 attendees including Data Managers, Parent Centers, Part C Coordinators, State Special Education Directors and their SEA staff! If you'd like to evaluate your experience, please follow the links included here, for the overall conference or for individual sessions.  

Conference materials will be archived on the website soon, but in the meantime you can continue to access materials on the mobile site. The mobile site can be accessed from your mobile device, desktop, or laptop. The mobile site will close August 14.

There was a lot of activity on Twitter at this year’s conference! Check out what was shared about the Conference through the official hashtag: #LC2015.

Continue to add to the conversation by following:

  • @IDEAS_That_Work for research, news and resources for grantees, parents, educators and stakeholders in the special education field from the IDEAs That Work Initiative.
  • @ED_Sped_Rehab for news and information from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education.
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All In: Achieving Results Together



Following the Department's commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), OSERS reports on a new funding opportunity and the impact ADA has had over the years: OSERS Celebrates ADA

Secretary Duncan and friends celebrate ADA, POTUS's #readwhereyouare and FLOTUS's Let's Move! campaign at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on July 22. OSERS fills us in on the adorable details: ED’s Let’s Read! Let’s Move! Celebrates Access to the Arts and the 25th Anniversary of the ADA


“We know that right now during the first three years of life, a child born into a low-income family hears 30 million fewer words than a child born into a well-off family. By giving more of our kids access to high-quality pre-school and other early learning programs, and by helping parents get the tools they need to help their kids succeed, we can give those kids a better shot at the career they are capable of, and a life that will make us all better off.”

 --President Obama

On July 22, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, in partnership with Too Small to Fail, are releasing “Talk, Read, Sing Together, Every Day!,” a suite of resources that can help enrich children’s early language experiences beginning from birth. This toolkit is the result of a commitment made at the 2014 White House convening focused on bridging the “word gap.”

The suite of resources includes tip sheets for families, preschool teachers, and infant/toddler teachers and caregivers, as well as a fact sheet that highlights the evidence behind the benefits of being bilingual and embracing children’s home languages. All tip sheets are available in English and Spanish, and can be downloaded at toosmall.org.

Inclusion: Social Skills Portend Future Success

New research published in the American Journal of Public Health and conducted at Penn State University suggests that specific social-emotional skills among young children can be powerful predictors for success later in life. The researchers tracked nearly 800 students for two decades (Brown, Wash Post). 



On April 28, 2015, the final local educational agency maintenance of effort (LEA MOE) regulations were published in the Federal Register. The LEA MOE regulations became effective on July 1, 2015. The purpose of the LEA MOE requirement is to ensure that LEAs provide the financial support necessary to make a free appropriate public education available to eligible children with disabilities. The Department identified a need for revisions to the LEA MOE requirements based upon fiscal monitoring, audits and questions from states. Most of the changes clarify the way in which the Department has previously interpreted LEA MOE regulations and consolidate requirements from the General Education Provisions Act, Education Department General Administrative Regulations, and appropriations language. The final LEA MOE regulations are available on Regulations.gov.

On July 27, OSEP issued a non-regulatory guidance on IDEA Part B LEA MOE requirements, in the form of a Q&A. And hopes to publish similar guidance for State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies in the future.



Beginning in 2003, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has been conducting a study of mapping State Standards to understand differences in US State Standards in public schools for proficient performance at grades 4 and 8 in reading and mathematics. In this study, using a State's reported percentages of students identified on the state test as proficient in a grade and subject, and the respective State's performance in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the State Standard is mapped onto the NAEP scales. View the full report: NAEP Mapping State Proficiency Standards

The 2013 mapping study is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education


In July, the Department of Education published Part B (ages 3 through 21) and Part C (infants through age 2) State Profiles based on annual determination letters regarding States’ implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Each State was evaluated on key indicators and placed into one of four categories: meets requirements, needs assistance, needs intervention, and needs substantial intervention. Most States fell into the top categories; 19 States met requirements for Part B, and 21 States met requirements for Part C. No State required substantial intervention. 

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