DeVos and Her Purge of IDEA Guidance

I know, I’ve been quiet for a few months.  Frankly, I’ve started and stopped writing posts at least a dozen times over the past three or four months, and every time I get disgusted by our current political climate and stop. I feel completely helpless. We have a President who wants to reduce the health care our children need to survive. We have an Education secretary that is eliminating guidelines just so she can say she’s reducing paperwork. Congress actually made it easier for Tim to go out and purchase a handgun next time he’s suicidal. I keep hoping I’ll wake up and this will have all been an incredibly bad dream.

I decided to take a look at the guidance documents Betsy DeVos has rescinded by describing them as out of date.  Granted, many of these documents are decades old. But many of them have no newer versions. These documents help parents and school administrators understand IDEA law. Here are some examples of what I mean:

  • Guidance on Procedural Safeguards and Due Process Procedures for Parents and Children With Disabilities
  • Guidance on Including Children With Disabilities in Assessment Programs
  • IDEA Part B Final Regulations Related to Parental Consent to Access Public Benefits or Insurance / Medicaid
  • Implementing Response to Intervention(RTI) Using Title I, Title III, and CEIS Funds (or, how to identify students that qualify for servies!)
  • Initial Disciplinary Guidance Related to Removal of Children with Disabilities from Their Current Educational Placement for Ten School Days or Less (or, suspension)
  • Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Federal Funding

These are just the documents without newer versions that I was able to preserve. Some I found when the Department of Education listed them as “no link available”. There are others that I cannot find that are important and have no newer version:

  • Guidelines for Implementing Community-based Educational Programs for Students with Disabilities
  • Summary of Comments of Special Education for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder
  • States’ responsibility to make FAPE available to certain Indian children
  • Use of Tape recorders at IEP meetings

If I still had children with disabilities in school, I would be consulting with the ACLU on whether removal of documents with no newer versions constitutes a violation of my and my child’s rights under IDEA law.  I am going to reach out to Wrightslaw to see what their assessment of the impact of Ms. DeVos’ actions will be. I’ll let you know what I discover. Don’t forget – DeVos is the person who said the question of whether students with disabilities should be educated should be left up to the states.

In the meantime, I will set up a files section on the website to house the documents I was able to preserve.

***Update*** Here are the documents: https://themindstorm.net/purged-department-of-education-documents/

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