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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:

What You Need to Know About IDEA 2004

IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About Functional Goals in IEPS - Pat Howey answers questions about functional goals in IEPs. The IDEA 2004 statute and federal regulations include specific requirements about using present levels of functional performance to develop functional goals in the IEPs for all children with disabilities. Pat also teaches you how to find answers to your questions in references that are available on Wrightslaw.

IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About IEPs for Children with Behavior Problems - IDEA 2004 and the special education regulations include specific requirements for IEPs of children whose behavior impedes their learning or the learning of other children, including training teachers to use positive behavioral interventions and strategies.

IDEA 2004: IEPs, Highly Qualified Teachers & Research Based Instruction
Learn about new language in IDEA 2004 that is designed to ensure that children with disabilities are taught by highly qualified teachers and receive research based instruction. This article includes new requirements for personnel training, IEPs, and scientifically based instruction.

IDEA 2004: Can the IEP Team Prepare a "Draft IEP?" IDEA 2004 discourages the use of "draft IEPs" because they send a message that parental concerns and parental participation are not valued. Since some IEP teams will continue to use draft IEPs, Pat Howey describes the pros and cons and how you can turn a lemon (draft IEP) into lemonade.

The Most Powerful Advocacy Tool in IDEA 2004: Your State Advisory Panel - Sue Heath explains why state advisory panels are powerful tools for change, and asks you to get involved.

IDEA 2004: Specific Learning Disabilities: Discrepancy v. Response to Intervention Models
- In IDEA 2004, Congress changed the law about how to identify children with specific learning disabilities. Schools “shall not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability..." In this article, we look at response to intervention or response to instruction (RTI) models, discrepancy models, and how the changes in IDEA 2004 may affect millions of children who have been identified with specific learning disabilities.

10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Education for Children with Disabilities - Parent attorney Wayne Steedman explains how IDEA 2004 creates a higher standard for a free, appropriate public education and how parents can use NCLB to obtain a better IEP for their children. Learn how to include research based methodology in the IEP and ensure how to that the IEP goals are comprehensive, specific -- and measurable. Wayne advises you about pitfalls to avoid and offers advice about how you can resolve disputes without resorting to a due process hearing - and what you should do if you cannot resolve your dispute.

IDEA 2004: Roadmap to the IEP - How did IEPs change under IDEA 2004? What does the law say about developing, reviewing and revising IEPs? Who may be excused from IEP meetings, when, how? When can the child's IEP be changed without an IEP meeting? What services must be provided when a child transfers to a district in the same state? A different state? What are “multi-year IEPs”?

IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About IEP Team Members & IEP Team Attendance -
Learn about IEP team members and IEP team attendance, when team members may be excused from a meeting, and what parents and the school district must do before a team member may be excused.

IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About Section 1412 - State Eligibility (Catch-All Statute)
Section 1412: State Eligibility (the Catch-All Statute) includes many different areas: free appropriate public education; child find; least restrictive environment; equitable services for children in private schools; tuition reimbursement for unilateral placements; assessments, alternative assessments, accommodations guidelines, and more.

The Child Find Mandate: What Does It Mean to You? by Pamela Wright & Pete Wright, Esq. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act includes the Child Find mandate. Child Find requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. This obligation to identify all children who may need special education services exists even if the school is not providing special education services to the child.

New School District Attorneys' Fees Provision Under IDEA 2004 by Jess Butler, Esq.
IDEA 2004 allows school districts to seek attorneys' fees from parents or their attorneys if the parent’s due process action or court case is “frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation,” or if the parents acted with an “improper purpose” in filing their complaint. Courts have held that defendants must meet very tough standards before they can recover fees. This article explains what these restrictions may mean for parents and counsel.

IDEA 2004 Regulations: Questions & Answers. Since the IDEA 2004 regulations will not be published until late 2005 or early 2006, how will the law be implemented? The Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates has some answers.

IDEA 2004: Requirements for Highly Qualified Special Ed Teachers - Learn about new requirements for special ed teachers; limits of what teachers who are not highly qualified may do; how teachers can demonstrate their competence.

IDEA 2004: Rule 11 & Attorneys Fees - Many parents and their advocates have expressed concerns about the “new” attorney fee statute in IDEA 2004 permitting school districts to recover fees from attorneys who represent parents. Pete analyzes these new provisions, improper litigation, frivolous actions, and the practical implications of this new statute.

Why I Am an Optimist about IDEA 2004 - Pete Wright says, "I don't feel gloom and doom about IDEA 2004. I think we can use IDEA 2004 as a powerful tool to improve educational results and outcomes for our children. Here are some reasons why ... '

IDEA 2004: Transition Services for Education, Work, Independent Living. Short article about changes in the definition of transition services in IDEA 2004.

IDEA Report Cards - State Performance Plans

IDEA Report Cards 2007: Did Your State Pass or Fail? In this article, we describe state performance plans, how the Department of Education determines which states pass and which need improvement or intervention. We share our predictions about the future (and our reasoning).

Pass or Fail? Check Your School District's Report Card 2008. IDEA 2004 established a requirement that all states develop and submit a State Performance Plan (SPP) to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).Each state is required to submit an Annual Performance Report (APR) and report their performance to DOE and the public.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition (ISBN: 978-1-892320-16-2) by Peter Wright and Pamela Wright is available in two formats. The book includes:

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd ed. by Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright* 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 from the U. S. Supreme Court
References and resources

Formats     How to Order  Discounts   The E-book

Synopsis   Table of Contents  
About the Authors    Early Reviews

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.

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Revised: 09/08/09
Created: 01/02/05

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