December 3, 2004, the President signed the reauthorized Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) into law.
Most provisions in the new law take effect on July 1, 2005.
you are the parent of a child with a disability, you represent
your child's interests. You need to stay informed about changes
in IDEA 2004 that may affect your child. If you are a
teacher or special education service provider, the reauthorized
law will affect you and your job.
2004 - Learn about new legal requirements in IDEA 2004 that
will have a profound impact on children with disabilities, their
families and their teachers.
Download a free copy of The
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004:
Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97
by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq. This publication 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
We are using this publication in our training
programs to supplement Wrightslaw:
Special Education Law and Wrightslaw:
From Emotions to Advocacy. If
you have either of these books, we encourage you to print this
publication and attach it to your book.
December 3, 2004. President
Signs Reauthorized IDEA. The President signed the reauthorized
IDEA into law today. The signing ceremony was attended by members
of Congress and officials from the Department of Education. Most
provisions of the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement
Act of 2004 will take effect on July 1, 2005.
18, 2004. House-Senate
Conference Committee Votes on IDEA Reauthorization:
The Inside Story.
On November 17, 2004, the House-Senate Conference Committee met and voted
to accept the Conference Report and reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act of 2004. Read
the "Inside Story" of this historic meeting.
November 12, 2004. Congress
Schedules Meeting to Reauthorize IDEA on November 17, 2004. The Committee
on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives issued
a Media Release to announce a meeting
on November 17 to finalize the bill to reauthorize the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act.
November 9, 2004. Conferees
Meet to Develop Compromise Bill. Negotiations to reauthorize
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are taking place now.
On November 15, the House and Senate return to Washington for a lame duck
session. If negotiations on the reauthorization bill are complete, Congress
may pass the bill to reauthorize the IDEA this year. Please act now!
18, 2004. Speaker
of House Appoints Conferees. The Speaker of the House of Representatives
appointed conferees for the committee to develop a compromise IDEA reauthorization
bill. What's next? Hard to say.
September 24, 2004. Negotiations
on IDEA Reauthorization to Begin. The Senate and House of Representatives
agreed to meet in conference to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities
analysis of Senate Bill 1248, House Bill 1350 with Parts A and B of the
IDEA by the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems
(NAPAS). (in pdf)
Passes Bill to Reauthorize IDEA by 95-3 Vote.
Outcome of Senate bill to reauthorize
IDEA, full funding compromise, House-Senate
conference committee will meet to develop compromise bill.
May 1, 2004. Senate
to Vote on IDEA - National Call-In Day. According to our sources in
Washington, DC, Senate Bill 1248 to reauthorize IDEA is likely to come
to a vote next week. This Alert includes requests for action from two
special ed advocacy groups.
19, 2004. National
Call Your Senators Day.
Parents and advocates must advise their Senators that the Senate
Bill 1248 is not acceptable and they should not allow any bill containing
provisions that damage children and youth go forward in Congress.
February 25, 2004. Parents
Urge Senate to Vote "No." Parents and education advocates
are urging the members of the Senate to halt consideration of a bill that
would drastically change the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA). Action on the Senates bill, S.1248, is anticipated next
month . . .
4, 2004. Advocacy
Groups Speak Out, Organize, Demonstrate. In recent months,
advocacy groups have formed with the goal of preserving the IDEA. Their
strategies include educating parents, policymakers and the media and teaching
parents how to speak out. Other groups are planning a demonstration
and march against Senate Bill 1248 in Washington, DC.
December 2, 2003. Senate
Adjourns, IDEA Postponed Until 2004. Congress adjourned for
the holidays without reauthorizing the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (IDEA). There will be no activity on IDEA reauthorization until Congress
returns in January, 2004.
3, 2003. Back
to School, Backs to the Wall on IDEA Reauthorization. Learn about
the battle to preserve the good IDEA, key issues, what you should do and
3, 2003. IDEA
Talking Points. Describes issues that parents and advocates
need to address in the Senate Bill to reauthorize IDEA, including discipline,
elimination of short-term objectives and benchmarks, elimination of procedural
protections for parents and kids, more.
August 3, 2003. Ongoing
Battle Against Low Expectations. The Center for Law and Education
reports that the Senate bill to reauthorize the IDEA (S. 1248) will undermine
opportunities under NCLB for students with disabilities. Kathleen Boundy
of CLE sent a letter to members of the Senate HELP Committee that describes
portions of S. 1248 that may prevent students with disabilities from receiving
benefits under NCLB. (in pdf)
July 2, 2003. Senators
Listen to Parents, Advocates. The Senate HELP Committee approved
S. 1248 to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
full Senate is expected to vote on the bill between July 7th and July
31. The Senate bill is different from H.R.
1350 that was passed by the House of Representatives a few weeks ago.
What happens next? What do you need to do?
26, 2003. Championing
Children for Whom Reading and Learning is Difficult. Article about
teaching children to read and the reauthorization of IDEA by Brent Staples
of The New York Times. "It would be nice if Congress could stop fixating
on the lawyers and focus on the fact that so many children are moving
through the public schools without learning to read."
June 11, 2003. Alert!
Kids Need Our Help This Week. The Senate HELP Committee is
drafting the IDEA reauthorization bill. It is absolutely imperative that
all members of the Senate, especially the members of the HELP committee
(names and states listed below), hear from their constituents - that's
May 7, 2003. IDEA
Update & Game Plan.
Update on reauthorization of IDEA and House Bill 1350; a game plan
you can use to educate your Senators and re-frame the debate about IDEA.
21, 2003. IDEA
Threatened, Kids Need Our Help on April 29. The proposed reauthorization
bill weakens IDEA in significant ways that will harm children with disabilities
and will not lead to improved special ed outcomes. The bill introduces
"optional" 3-year IEPs; eliminates IEP objectives and benchmarks;
weakens procedural safeguards and protections for parents and kids; allows
schools to suspend or expel kids who have behavior problems related to
their disabilities for violating school "codes of conduct".
31, 2003. Analysis
of Proposed Changes to IDEA. The National Association of Protection
and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) devised a "side-by-side" table
that compares the current IDEA with the proposed bill. This
document will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of the bill.
Share your concerns
with your members of Congress.
March 19, 2003. IDEA
Reauthorization: Improve Education Results for Children with Disabilities
Act. House proposes to align IDEA with NCLB, improve educational
results, reduce paperwork burden, more.
February 25, 2003. Paige
Releases Principles for Reauthorizing IDEA. Sec. of Education
Paige describes the "guiding principles in the reauthorization of
IDEA" - accountability for results, expanded parental choice, a focus
on what works, simplified paperwork and increased local flexibility.
February 13, 2003. GOP
Pushes School Choice & Increased Special Ed Funding. Congress
proposes to increase funding for school choice, special education, teacher
Issues Report and Recommendations to Improve Special Education.
The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education issued
A New Era: Revitalizing Special Education for Children and Their
Families, a report that includes findings and recommendations
about how to improve the educational performance of students with disabilities.
June 6, 2002. Congressional
Learning Disabilities & Early Intervention Strategies.
Congress hears testimony from witnesses about how to reform the special
education referral and identification process.
June 6, 2002. Congress
Unveils Great IDEAs Site. Congress wants input from parents,
teachers and others for recommendations about how to strengthen and improve
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
April 18, 2002. Rich
Disabled Pupils Go to Private School at Public Expense. Describes
testimony by Chancellor Harold Levy and Francine Goldstein before the
President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education, points out
inacccuracies, and sets the record straight.
April 16, 2002. Report
from IDEA 2002 Hearing in NYC by Dee Alpert, Esq. Describes testimony
before President's Commission on several topics: minority overidentification;
ADD & ADHD; identification practices and inadequate training programs
for teachers of students with severe behavior disorders.
from Hearing on Parental Choice & Parental Involvement by Lilliam
Rangel-Diaz. Lilly Diaz provides her personal observations and impressions
of IDEA Reauthorization Hearing before President's Commission on Excellence
in Special Education in Florida.
Hearing by Robert Berlow, Esq.
Describes hearing about reauthorization before U. S. Senate. Lily Diaz
of NCD, Dr. Pasternak, and others testified. Read article
18, 2002. Internet Survey
of Special Ed Document Alteration, Falsification & Fraud. Parents,
advocates, attorneys, and special education staff report that falsification
of documents and forgery of signatures are widespead. Dee Alpert, a New
York City-based attorney, is conducting a survey of these problems. Learn About
Survey, Dee Alpert, Preliminary Findings
13, 2002. Dr. Martin Gould, research specialist with the National
Council on Disability, testfied about the new working
paper about IDEA reauthorization that focuses on accountability,
achievement, and enforcement. In studies of IDEA from 1989 through
2000, NCD found that parents of children with disabilities support the
law, but state and federal agencies have not enforced the law.
February 12, 2002. Finally - A
Chance to be Heard! This year, Congress
is scheduled to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (IDEA). If you are involved in special education, your input is requested.
Get involved! Donít procrastinate - the VIPs want your comments.
19, 2002. President Bush Proposes $1 Billion Increase in IDEA Funding.
January 15, 2002. President's Commission on Excellence in Special
Education Holds First Meeting; Sets Meeting Schedule. Read article.
October 10-December 19, 2001. The U. S. Department of Education will
hold public hearings in several cities: Salt Lake City, UT; Mobile,
AL; Minneapolis, MN; Providence, RI; Washington, DC; and San Antonio,
of public hearings with contact information. Child care stipends are
available. Interpreters will be present at the hearings.
October 2, 2001.
President Bush issues Executive Order to establish Commission on Excellence
in Special Education. Executive
Order in pdf
This Commission will collect information, study issues, and recommend
policies to improve the educational performance of students with disabilities.
The Commission will prepare and submit a report to the President no
later than April 30, 2002. Members of
Issues to be studied include:
early intervention in reading instruction
- impact of
early intervention on referral and identification of children for special
- impact on
special education funding on decisions to serve, place, or refer children
- ways to
distribute funds that will lead to better results and eliminate incentives
that prevent children from receiving quality educational services
Resources, Reports &
Go to IDEA
Reports & Recommendations to read
reports, surveys and recommendations about the strengths and weaknesses of the IDEA,
our system of educating children with disabilities, and how the IDEA should be changed.
For example, in January 2000, the
National Council on Disability published "Back to School on Civil
Release The National Council on Disability found that most states
have never complied with the law. NCD discusses the high costs to children
and their families caused by the failure to enforce the law and recommends
changes to the IDEA to meet the needs of children and their families.
GAO Reports: Education. The Government
Accounting Office (GAO) provides investigative reports to Congress. As
reauthorization of IDEA progresses this year, we expect that GAO Reports
will play an important role in informing members of Congress and the public.
To be notified by email about GAO Reports About Education, follow this
Monthly newsletter from the IDEA Practices site; includes IDEA news, conferences
and events, new products and resources. To
subscribe, go to http://www.ideapractices.org/forms/maillist.asp#join
The Special Ed Advocate
A free online newsletter about special education legal and
advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources.
Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, news,
and events. Subscribe Back issues
of The Special Ed Advocate.