Meeting Federal and State Requirements

photo of children and globe

School entities are required to follow the mandates of federal and state laws and regulations in providing free appropriate education to students with disabilities. This site offers resources to assist in meeting those requirements.

  • Jun18

    NAEP Scores Flat for Students with Disabilities

    The Institute of Education Sciences recently released the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results for math and reading. Students with disabilities received flat scores on the “Nations Report Card.” Results indicate a failure to close the gap with students not identified as having disabilities, who also reflected generally flat performance since the 2015 assessment. Most students with disabilities performed in the “below basic” achievement level.
    NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, U.S. History, and in technology and engineering literacy.
    Click on the link for full access to the report:

  • Jun18

    NCEO Brief: Students with Disabilities & Chronic Absenteeism

    NCEO Brief: Students with Disabilities & Chronic Absenteeism
    Chronic absenteeism has been gaining attention across the nation as states implement their ESSA plans. ESSA mandates that each state includes one or more measures “of school quality or student success” in their accountability system that will be used to annually assess each state’s public school performance. Many states have chosen to measure student chronic absenteeism.
    According to information from the US Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for 2013-2014, 16% of the students who missed 15 or more school days were students with IEPs and 18.5% of students with disabilities missed 15 or more school days. Overall, the data for all students with disabilities indicate that a minimum of 17 million days of instruction were missed that year.
    To that end, the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has published a Brief to provide information about chronic absenteeism and its implications for students with disabilities. The report highlights both the benefits and potential risks considering the requirements outlined in IDEA, Section 504, and ADA.
    In addition, the Brief provides actions states may explore to address chronic absences among students with disabilities at both the state and local level, and includes a list of resources.

  • Jun18

    National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012:Preparing for Life After High School

    The National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) 2012 provides updated information on youth with disabilities in light of the challenges youth with disabilities have been facing in recent years to inform efforts to address their needs. There is concern about the challenges today’s youth are experiencing because of the ever changing educational, social, and economic landscape in our nation. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education under a congressional mandate to study IDEA 2004 and the students it serves, the NLTS 2012 describes the backgrounds of secondary school youth and their functional abilities, activities in school and with friends, academic supports received from schools and parents, and preparation for life after high school. Through surveys in 2012 and 2013, the study collected data on a nationally representative set of nearly 13,000 students— mostly those with an individualized education program (IEP) and expected to receive special education services. The study also includes students without an IEP who either have no identified disability or who have an impairment that does not qualify them for special education but allows them to receive accommodations through a 504 plan under the Rehabilitation Act, another federal law pertaining to the rights and needs of youth with disabilities. Students with a 504 plan are a growing segment of the public school population, making it important to understand their needs and how their needs differ from those of students with an IEP.

  • Jun18

    New IDEA Website Launched

    The US Department of Education recently launched a new website, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which brings together IDEA information and resources on infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
    Video tutorials providing an overview of the IDEA website and the IDEA statute and regulations page are available.
    The new site web address is:

  • Mar19

    Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools: 2018 Report

    In February 2018 the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools) published Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools: A Secondary Analysis of the Civil Rights Data Collection 2013-2014. The report is a follow up to NCSECS’s 2015 report of the 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which was a baseline of data regarding the extent to which charter schools serve students with disabilities. For Full 2015 Report click here.

  • Nov02

    USDE Rescinded Documents

    Clarifications Regarding Documents Rescinded by the U.S. Department of Education
    On Friday, October 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) announced that 72 guidance documents related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 have been rescinded. USDE has stated that these documents were outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.

  • Oct17

    Learning from Student Voice: Bullying

    YouthTruth is a national nonprofit organization that was created in 2008 in a collaborative effort by the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization is based on the premise that the voices of those one is serving are powerful and by listening to those voices, change can happen for the betterment of the group. Read More…

  • Oct10

    Office for Civil Rights Releases Report to Ensure Educational Equity for All Students

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released its fiscal year 2016 annual report highlighting efforts during the last year to protect students’ civil rights and increase educational equity nationwide. Read More…

  • Oct10

    Tools to Support Successful Reentry for Formerly Incarcerated Youth and Adults

    The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention developed a toolkit providing guidance to educators and others to support a successful reentry system for formerly incarcerated youth and adults. Read More…

  • Oct10

    New Grad Nation Report Released

    The 2017 Building a Grad Nation report written annually by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and released in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, examines the progress and challenges the nation faces in reaching the Grad Nation goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent by the Class of 2020. Read more…