State & Federal Updates (Jan. 2017)

Special Education Professional Development Survey

The Office of Special Education Planning and Policy is in the process of identifying special education professional development activities based on a comprehensive survey of the field. The Department is interested in educators' opinions about how ESE can best help educators achieve their professional development goals and hopes educators will take 10 minutes to complete a survey [] on special education professional development.

The survey is open for responses until January 31, 2017. It is anonymous and completely voluntary. The findings will be available online at [] in February and will be used to inform and enhance ESE programming to meet the field's interests and needs.

Please share the survey link, [], with individuals who would be interested in special education professional development, including special education administrators, special education teachers, general education teachers, paraeducators, support staff, and related service providers.

Guidance on Rights of Students with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) recently released three new sets of guidance to help the public understand how USED interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. The guidance includes:

–A parent and educator resource guide []
–A Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) [] [] document on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools, and a Dear Colleague letter and question-and-answer documents on the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools []. The question-and-answer guides describe the rights of charter school students with disabilities under []
–Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) [].

In addition, USED also released a Know Your Rights document [] to provide parents a brief overview of the rights of public charter school students with disabilities and the legal obligations of charter schools under Section 504 and the IDEA.

Resources to Help Students Transition Out of 
Juvenile Justice Settings

The U.S. Department of Education recently released [] new guides and resources to help students who are transitioning back to traditional school settings from juvenile justice settings. The resources include a [] guide written for incarcerated youth and a website on [] improving outcomes for youth with disabilities in juvenile corrections.
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