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Capitol Correspondence - 04.15.19

Two Departments, One IDEA: DOE and DOI Look at People with Disabilities’ Education Access

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The Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Interior (DOI), which oversees issues affecting Native Americans, are working on separate efforts on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ANCOR is flagging these efforts because IDEA is one of the essential laws ensuring children and youths through age 21 with disabilities can access public education, through a combination of special education programs, grants and early intervention supports.

The Department of Education is starting a new collection of data, seeking “to develop an up-to-date national picture of how states, districts, and schools are implementing IDEA in order to provide ED, Congress, and other stakeholders with knowledge that can inform the next reauthorization of IDEA and, ultimately, how services are provided to children. This study of IDEA is necessary because a decade has passed since the previous IDEA national implementation study, and subsequent developments may have influenced the context and implementation of special education and early intervention.” The agency is soliciting comments – learn more in the Federal Register notice.

The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold its next Advisory Board of Exceptional Children meeting on May 1 at 1pm MT.  According to the Federal Register: “The Advisory Board was established under the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) to advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, on the needs of Indian children with disabilities. The meeting is open to the public.” Topics discussed will include reports from education experts, discussion of special education topics and “work on priorities, advice and recommendations for 2019.”