On December 1, the Department of Education released new regulations for IDEA Part B that will take effect on December 31, 2008. Here's a brief summary of the major changes.
If your child has been receiving special education services under IDEA and you wish to revoke consent for services:
• the revocation must be in writing, and
• the school is not required to amend your child’s education records to remove any reference to previously receiving services. §300.9(c)(3)
If parents revoke consent for services being provided to their child:
• the revocation must be in writing
• the school must provide you with written notice (under § 300.503) about their intentions for your child. This written notice may be one way of establishing just when the services should end.
• the school district may not utilize mediation or the due process procedures to challenge your revocation of consent;
• the school is not required to convene an IEP Team or develop an IEP; and
• the school will not be deemed in noncompliance with the IDEA for failure to provide a FAPE to an otherwise eligible child. §300.300(b)(4)
Representation by Non-Lawyer Advocates
The section on Hearing Rights has been amended to specify that non-lawyer advocates can represent either side (parent or school district) in a due process hearing unless this overrides state law. §300.512(a)(1)
A new monitoring and enforcement section is added, establishing a one-year time frame for school districts to fix any IDEA noncompliance issues. Corrective action must be completed one year from the time the problem was discovered. The current regulations have no specific timeline. §300.600(e)
A State now has 120 days, after submitting its annual performance report (APR) to DOE, to provide a report to the public on school performance. This doubles the current allowable time frame. §300.602(b)(1)(i)(A)
Clarifications were also made in the areas of state monitoring, technical assistance, and enforcement; and allocation of funds.
For the complete analysis of comments and changes to the final regulations see the Federal Register for December 1, 2008 at http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/FR.v73.n231.pdf.