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IDEA 2004 Statute and Regulations
Law & RegsCommentary l  Guidance l Articles  
Publications  l Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

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The reauthorization of any law brings differing interpretations and questions. The information in IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw will help you find answers to your questions. IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw is organized into these sections:

IDEA 2004 Statute - Changes in Key Statutes

IDEA 2004: Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes
IDEA 2004: Section 1401 - Definitions
IDEA 2004: Section 1412 - State Responsibilities ("Catchall" statute) - includes child find, personnel standards, notice
IDEA 2004: Section 1414 - Evaluations, Reevaluations and IEPs
IDEA 2004: Section 1415 - Procedural Safeguards (Rules of Procedure)
- includes protections for children with disabilities and their parents, prior written notice, mediation, due process

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IDEA 2004 Regulations

Update: On September 28, 2011, the DOE issued proposed regulations relating to a revision of a school system’s right to access Medicaid and the Notice that is to be provided to the parent. On February 14, 2013 the “Final Regulation” was published in the Federal Register and is effective on March 18, 2013. Click here to see Pete's reformat of the Commentary. The Federal Register is hard to read, so Pete reformatted and footnoted it with the Comments, Discussion, and Changes. Click here to see the USDOE's Guidance Memorandum with 13 FAQ's about the revision. We posted a YouTube video about the revised reg and possible Medicaid Fraud. Click here for the video.

On September 28, 2011, the IDEA 2004 Part C Final Regulations governing the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities were published in the Federal Register. These regulations became effective on October 28, 2011. PDF Format

On December 1, 2008, the U. S. Department of Education issued additional Part B regulations in order to clarify and strengthen current federal regulations regarding parental consent, hearing rights, state monitoring and enforcement, etc. Effective date of the revised regulations was December 31, 2008.

IDEA Federal Regulations - Revised Part B Additional Requirements, 2008

On August 3, 2006, the U. S. Department of Education published the IDEA 2004 regulations as two preambles (1244 pages), the regulations (374 pages), and five Appendices (90 pages) for a total of 1,705 pages. (see below)

By Monday, August 8, all IDEA 2004 Regulations were reformatted and published on the Wrightslaw site. The reformatted regulations are 115 pages long (down from 374 pages). They are easier to read, print and study.

Read the Summary of Changes in the IDEA 2004 Regulations prepared by the US Dept of Ed (10 pages, pdf) and download the Model Forms for IEPs, Procedural Safeguards and Prior Written Notice.

Table of Regulations (5 pages, pdf)

Subpart A - General - Includes Purposes, Definitions (11 pages, pdf)

Subpart B - State Eligibility, General - Includes FAPE and LRE requirements, ESY, services to children in private schools, state and LEA eligibility (25 pages, pdf)

Subpart C - Local Educational Agency Eligibility - Includes Early Intervening Services (6 pages, pdf)

Subpart D - Evaluations, Reevaluations, Eligibility, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Placements
(12 pages, pdf)

Subpart E - Procedural Safeguards - Includes due process procedures, procedural safeguards notice, mediation, due process hearings, model due process form, resolution process, timelines, attorneys fees, child's status during proceedings; discipline, manifestation determination; transfer of rights at age of majority, etc. (14 pages, pdf)

Subpart F - Monitoring, Enforcement, Confidentiality, and Program Information (8 pages, pdf)

Subpart G - Authorization; Allotment; Use of Funds; Authorization of Appropriations (10 pages, pdf)

Subpart H - Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities (3 pages, pdf)

IDEA 2004 Regs & Commentary in the Federal Register

Update: IDEA Federal Regulations - Part C Final Regulations, effective October 28, 2011. Regulations & Analysis of Comments and Changes (Commentary) were published in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 188, September 28, 2011, p. 60140.

Update: IDEA Federal Regulations - Part B Additional Requirements, effective December 31, 2008. Regulations & Analysis of Comments and Changes (Commentary) were published in the Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 231, December 1, 2008, p. 73006.

On August 14, the official IDEA 2004 Regulations were published in the Federal Register. You may download the Regulations & Commentary in the Federal Register (307 pages) from Wrightslaw at this address

http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/FR.v71.n156.pdf

The commentary and explanations about why the proposed regulations were changed or not changed begins on Federal Register page 46540 and continues all the way through page 46753. The actual IDEA 2004 regulations (Subparts A-H) go from page 46753 to page 46817.

Portions of the "Commentary" are an important addition to keep with Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition.

We strongly encourage you to go to "Answers to Questions in the Commentary" and review that page. You can download the 307 page Federal Register document or selected portions that are of interest to you. We divided the 307 page Federal Register document into several smaller files. For example, one file is about Extended School Year (ESY) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Another is about Evaluations and Re-Evaluations. Another is about IEPs while another file is about Discipline.

Assume you are in an IEP meeting. You have your Wrightslaw Special Education Law book (print version or e-book version) and the Commentary about IEPs from the Federal Register. A question arises about "comparable services." If you have these references, you will know how to find the definition of this term. Not only do we discuss it in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law (you can quickly search the e-book for any term), but you look it up in the Commentary of the Federal Register (it's on page 46681). How do you know where to find it in the Federal Register? When you looked it up in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, the book gave you the page number in the Federal Register so you could look it up on your own and learn more about it.

IDEA 2004 Statute - Changes in Key Statutes

IDEA 2004: Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes
IDEA 2004: Section 1401 - Definitions
IDEA 2004: Section 1412 - State Responsibilities ("Catchall" statute) - includes child find, personnel standards, notice
IDEA 2004: Section 1414 - Evaluations, Reevaluations and IEPs
IDEA 2004: Section 1415 - Procedural Safeguards (Rules of Procedure)
- includes protections for children with disabilities and their parents, prior written notice, mediation, due process

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Model Forms

Congress required the Education Department to develop and publish model IEP, IFSP, Procedural Safeguard Notice, and Prior Written Notice forms "no later than the date that the Secretary publishes final regulations ..." (20 USC Section 1417(e). The Education Department published these model forms along with a short document, Guidance on Required Content of Forms.

These model forms will help you determine if the IEP, Procedural Safeguards and Prior Written Notice forms used by your state and/or school district meet the requirements of IDEA 2004.

Model Form: IEP
Describes required elements in IEP including present levels of academic achievement and functional performance and measurable annual goals. For children who take alternate assessments, the IEP must include benchmarks or short-term objectives; a description of how the child's progress will be measured, and when progress reports will be issued.
The IEP must include the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, based on peer reviewed research, that will be provided, and and program modifications and supports for school personnel. The IEP must also include an explanation of the extent that the child will not participate regular extracurricular and other non-academic areas and appropriate accommodations on State and district tests. The IEP must include the date services will begin, frequency, location, and duration of special education and related services and supplementary aides and services, and modifications and supports. (4 pages)

Model Form: IFSP
Part C regulations specify the procedures that State Lead Agencies and early intervention service providers must follow to develop, review, and revise an IFSP for each child.(34 CFR §§303.342 - 303.345) The Model IFSP form defines the elements that the IFSP must include: Name of service coordinator; present levels of development, families' resources, priorities, concerns; measurable results or measurable outcomes; early intervention services; natural environment; educational component for children at least 3 years old; payment arrangements. The model ISFP form includes a section about transition from Part C services that includes transition services; transition steps; program options. (6 pages)


Model Form: Notice of Procedural Safeguards
Includes general information, parental consent, electronic mail, independent educational evaluations (IEEs); confidentiality; state complaint procedures; due process complaint procedures; due process hearings; appeals; procedures when disciplining children with disabilities; requirements for unilateral placement by parents in private schools at public expense. (47 pages)

Model Form: Prior Written Notice
The school district must give parents written notice whenever the district proposes to begin or change your child's identification, evaluation, or educational placement OR refuses to begin or change your child's identification, evaluation, or placement or provide your child with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). This "Prior Written Notice" includes several required components and the language must be easily understood. (2 pages)

Download other publications and documents, including Topics Briefs and the Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities from the Guidance on IDEA 2004 page.

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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition (ISBN: 978-1-892320-16-2, 456 pages, 8 1/2" x 11", perfect bound) by Peter Wright and Pamela Wright is available in two formats. The book includes:

  • Full text of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 and IDEA 2004 regulations with analysis and commentary
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • No Child Left Behind Act
  • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • McKinney-Vento Homeless Act
  • Decisions in special education cases from the U. S. Supreme Court
  • References and resources
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd ed. by Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition is designed to meet the needs of parents, teachers, advocates, attorneys, related services providers, school psychologists, administrators, college professors, hearing officers, and employees of district and state departments of education.

Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 and IDEA 97


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97
by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq. describes the substantive changes to the five key statutes of IDEA 2004 by section and subsection. Text added to IDEA 2004 is in italics. Text deleted from IDEA 97 has been struck through. Download IDEA 2004: Overview, Explanation & Comparison (56 pages)

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Last revised: 02/14/13


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