ALL NEW! OSEP Update Gets a Facelift!

Improving Results for Youth and Children with Disabilities


 A New Year and a new Monthly Update! 

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Have input for future editions? 

Let us know your thoughts by emailing





Today, February 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which allows the public to comment on a proposed standard approach for defining significant disproportionality. This new rule, "Equity in IDEA", seeks to address widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the treatment of students with disabilities. An analysis of data related to the proposed rule can be found here


The official NPRM will published on the Federal Register website. The public comment period will be open for 75 days.

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Meet Ruth Ryder, Acting Director

 Hello Leaders!

As I take up my responsibilities as Acting OSEP Director, I am excited to present this brand new version of the Monthly Update! I'd like to highlight two new features of our OSEP Monthly Update-- we are seeking your feedback and welcoming new readers. You, and your friends and colleagues, now have the option to subscribe to our newsletter! Pass the link along to spread the word. You can also send us your thoughts on the redesign, and all OSEP communications by contacting Charlotte Stein.


In other news, OSEP held its annual Leadership Conference, February 1-3, on a virtual platform. This year we hosted state staff as well as data, parent, and technical assistance centers for some fantastic collaboration and information sharing. In case you missed it, our Monitoring and State Improvement and Planning Division rolled out the new RDA system for Differentiated Monitoring and Support. All sessions are archived on the OSEP Meetings website, linked below. 

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Click the link below to see what RDA means for you.

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Michael Yudin

OSERS on Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs

On Thursday, February 11th, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services hosted a Google Hangout discussion about inclusion in early childhood programs and why it matters to states, early childhood programs, families, and young children with and without disabilities. The discussion was the first in a series of upcoming webinars on the research, practice, and public awareness of inclusion in early childhood programs, to be held over the next several months.

Join the conversation at #inclusiongov

Send questions and comments to


Click here to watch.


COMING SOON: The Latest in Special Ed Policy Letters

OSEP's Web and Policy Teams are joining forces to diligently update the Policy Letter listing on our webpage. Check back here, in the Resource section of the Monthly Update, for links to recent correspondences, and their relevance to you. 



 OSEP has announced new opportunities for funding!





State Personnel Development Grants Program (CFDA No. 84.323A). 

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications:  March 21, 2016.





PBIS Resources for Equity 

 These resources include four useful practice guides that address: 

discipline disproportionality, 

- engaging instruction that increases equity,  

- policies for district and school teams, and

- using data to ID and address disproportionality.

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SISEP Resources for 

Implementation Fidelity 


These resources include an online module on implementation fidelity that may be helpful to States working on their SSIP evaluation plan. 

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GAO findings on IDEA

On February 9th, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published their findings regarding administrative burden to grantees imposed by the re-authorization of IDEA in 2004. The report found that U.S. Department of Education did make efforts to reduce the burden by creating tools and programs intended to benefit states. Despite perceived burdens, stakeholders widely acknowledged that IDEA's requirements play an important role in accountability.


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John King

The Department of Education (ED) has developed and released some significant guidance and tools since the signing of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Take a look at what ED has made available to you.


Other Recent Guidance:


ED's new ESSA promotes civil rights

Civil Rights

“ESSA presents a moment of both opportunity and moral responsibility... Responsibility to ensure that implementation of the new version of the law lives up to its civil rights heritage rests with leaders in each of our states — and with all of us here... There is a continued role in the new law for the federal government as a backstop to ensure educational quality for all children, a protector of our students’ civil rights, and I and my colleagues at the Department take that responsibility very seriously...the new and larger role for states should be seen as a clarion call in the civil rights community...Let’s become the people that we ought to be, let’s act with urgency for the civil rights of our children.” 


Full remarks from Acting Secretary John King at the National Action Network's MLK Jr. Day Breakfast are available on Medium.


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Take a Look at the OSERS Blog

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Here at the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), we love amplifying voices from all over the country, especially in our blog

Please read, comment and share!

Follow us on Twitter @Ed_Sped_Rehab

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OSERS is on Twitter with the latest from special education advocates, educators, families and students. Follow us @Ed_Sped_Rehab and tell your friends! We'll see you in the Twittersphere!


Send Us Your Feedback and Comments


We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for TA opportunities? Parent resources? Webinar topics? Ideas for things to include in future newsletters? Send them to Charlotte Stein at


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