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Special Education Regulations

Special Education laws, regulations, and policy establish the requirements for educating students with disabilities.

Laws, Regulations, and Policy

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Purpose

Congress enacted IDEA based on its finding that “disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”

Federal Regulations for Implementing IDEA

The U.S. Department of Education issues federal regulations for implementing IDEA and to govern the Assistance to States for Education of Children with Disabilities Program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities Program. These rules are published in Part 300 of the 34th Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR).

NEW! Significant Disproportionality

RIDE Proposes New Procedures for Disproportionality – Hearings Scheduled

On December 16, 2016 the Secretary of Education amended the IDEA Part B which requires States to revise their State Policies and Procedures (PPs) for Significant Disproportionality. As issued in the Federal register:

The Secretary amends the regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governing the Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities program. With the goal of promoting equity under IDEA, the regulations will establish a standard methodology States must use to determine whether significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in the State and in its local educational agencies (LEAs); clarify that States must address significant disproportionality in the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions, using the same statutory remedies required to address significant disproportionality in the identification and placement of children with disabilities; clarify requirements for the review and revision of policies, practices, and procedures when significant disproportionality is found; and require that LEAs identify and address the factors contributing to significant disproportionality as part of comprehensive coordinated early intervening services (comprehensive CEIS) and allow these services for children from age 3 through grade 12, with and without disabilities. 81 FR 92376

As such, RIDE has reviewed and revised the state PPs based on the recommendations from a stakeholder workgroup in order to set risk ratio thresholds, minimum cell size and the number of years of data to be used in determining disproportionality. Since the State PPs are amended to comply with the new regulations on significant disproportionality, RIDE will conduct public hearings and afford an opportunity for comment from the general public, including individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities on the changes to the PPs.

The recommended revisions to RI Policies and Procedures for Significant Disproportionality are available for public review and comment here, August 5, 2017 through October 5, 2017 at 4:00PM.

Public Hearings:

Date: August 23, 2017

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Location:  Times 2 Academy, 50 Fillmore St, Providence, RI 02908

Date: September 6, 2017

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Location:  Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Ln, Warwick, RI 02889

Date: October 4, 2017

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Location:  Middletown Public Library, 700 W Main Rd, Middletown, RI 02842

Comments may be submitted through email to Karen Lovett at Karen.Lovett@ride.ri.gov or mailed to:

Significant Disproportionality under IDEA Part B -Public Comment
Attention: Karen Lovett
Rhode Island Department of Education
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903

Please include “Significant Disproportionality under IDEA Part B -Public Comment” in the subject line of comments submitted via email.

General questions or requests for alternative formats of the recommended revisions to RI Policies and Procedures for Significant Disproportionality may be directed to Karen Lovett via email or by calling 401-222-8333. The hearing location is accessible to persons with disabilities and interpreter services for the hearing impaired will be provided if requested 48 hours prior to the hearing. Requests for this service can be made in writing or by calling Karen Lovett at 401-222-8333 or RI Relay 1-800-745-5555.

View the work group recommendations here:

NEW! Recommendations and Resources


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Annual State Application Under Part B of the IDEA 2004 for Federal FY 2016

Application

2016 Rhode Island Part B IDEA Application

Annual State Application Under Part B of the IDEA 2004 for Federal FY2017

Each year the Rhode Island Department of Education applies for a grant award under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A draft of the proposed application and accompanying use of funds spreadsheet are posted for a 60 day public review period and 30 day public comment period. The Rhode Island application and spreadsheet are available for public review and comment March 6, 2017 through May 4, 2017 at 4:00PM. Comments may be submitted through email to Karen Lovett at Karen.Lovett@ride.ri.gov or mailed to:

IDEA Part B Application-Public Comment
Attention: Karen Lovett
Rhode Island Department of Education
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903

General questions or requests for alternative formats of the application may be directed to Karen Lovett via email or by calling 401-222-8333.

Rhode Island Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities

State Regulations

Rhode Island establishes state regulations for implementing IDEA. These rules are designed to ensure a free, appropriate public education for children with disabilities, protect the rights of children with disabilities and their parents, assist agencies to provide for the education of children with disabilities, and to assess and ensure the effectiveness of these efforts. The RIDE Office of Student, Community and Academic Supports oversees these state regulations.

See additional standards for meeting Rhode Island Regulations

Employment First Policy


Commissioner Deborah A. Gist approved an Employment First policy for the Rhode Island Department of Education. Employment First is a commitment to students with intellectual/developmental disabilities to support their transition from public education into meaningful, community integrated training and employment opportunities at competitive wages upon exiting public education.

In 2014, the State of Rhode Island entered into a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act for operating day activity centers and sheltered workshops for individuals with intellectual /developmental disabilities. As part of this settlement, the State of Rhode Island and the involved agencies that support youth and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities agreed to implement a state Employment First policy.

In approving this policy, RIDE is endorsing the belief Rhode Island students with intellectual /developmental disabilities are capable of working in integrated work settings for competitive wages and RIDE will work in partnership with the adult service system to achieve this outcome.

Rhode Island Special Education Procedural Safeguards Notice

Know your rights!

This notice is the state’s model form for explaining parents’ rights under special education law and regulations. Federal and state regulations require schools to provide you with such a notice containing a full explanation of your rights in special education.

State Criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities


The Rhode Island Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities provide for the establishment of state criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities. On June 4, 2009, the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education approved Rhode Island’s State Criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities.

Please see the Special Education Resource page for more information.

Be Informed!

Rhode Island State Systemic Improvement Plan

On April 1, 2016 RIDE will submit the Sate Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) to the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education (OSEP). The State Systemic Improvement Plan is one of the State Performance Plan indicators (Indicator 17) and requires the state to identify a specific performance indicator and design a targeted improvement plan to address the performance target. The state team that has been working on this indicator is finalizing the state’s submission and comments are welcome.

Please review the power point presentation (see link below) and submit your comments to Karen.Lovett@ride.ri.gov. Please include in the subject line: RI SSIP Implementation Plan.

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