Ed Dept slashes 72 special ed guidance documents
- As part of the Trump administration's ongoing push to do away with "outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective" regulations, the U.S. Department of Education has abolished 72 guidance documents detailing the rights of students with disabilities, the Chicago Tribune reports.
- The documents include 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs and nine from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and advocates for students with disabilities are reportedly still working to measure how the changes will impact the handling of students' rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
- Among the documents rescinded are those detailing how schools can use federal funding for special education, and National Center for Learning Disabilities Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Lindsay Jones told the Tribune that the regulations were useful "in helping schools and parents understand and fill in with concrete examples the way the law is meant to work when it's being implemented in various situations."
As with previous guidance elimination, the latest move has concerned a number of lawmakers, like Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA), as well as advocates. Earlier this year, the department also rescinded guidance on transgender students' rights to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, and September saw the elimination of rules around schools' handling of sexual assault.
Notably, the rescinding of the special education guidance documents follows a confirmation hearing in January during which Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was reportedly confused that the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is a federal law — a detail that became a significant point of concern throughout the remainder of the confirmation process.
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