Department of Education Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

OSEP Dear Colleague Letter Reminds Districts to Consider Speech/Language Needs for Students with Autism

The Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and...more

New Hampshire Enacts Breach Notification Requirement for the Department of Education

The state of New Hampshire recently enacted House Bill 322 (“HB 322”), which requires the Department of Education (“DOE”) to implement additional procedures to protect student and teacher data from security breaches. Those...more

The Aftermath: Developments From The 2015 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded. A comprehensive summary and discussion of laws that were passed during the 2015 session will be forthcoming from this firm after the Governor has acted...more

U.S. Department of Education Weighs in Against an Oregon Bill which would Make it Easier for Students to Opt Out of Testing

The question of the ability of students to “opt out” of mandated standardized testing is one that occupied many school districts during Connecticut’s most recent round of statewide testing. The U.S. Department of Education...more

OSERS Issues New Guidance Regarding State and Due Process Complaints

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued new guidance in response to concern that some public agencies are filing due process complaints concerning the same...more

OSEP Provides Guidance on Parent’s Right to an Independent Educational Evaluation

The topic of independent educational evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) has, now more than ever, become one of the most discussed and debated topics in special education....more

NYSED Releases Memo on Selection and Appointment of Impartial Hearing Officers

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) released a filed advisory memo on the selection and appointment of impartial hearing officers to conduct a special education due process hearing....more

NSBA to OCR: Standard for Addressing Requests for Technology by Students With a Communication Impairment is Off Key

Readers of our FR Alerts may remember my colleague Kendra B. Yoch authored an Alert in 2013 about a set of outlier cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified...more

12 Legal Mistakes to Avoid in Terms of Service for Online Educational Services and Apps

A classroom teacher comes across a promising online educational service or application that she wants to use with her students and comes to you to make sure it’s legally appropriate. The service or app would collect and use...more

Blog: US Department of Education’s New Data Privacy Guidance: Why It Matters

In January 2015, the US Department of Education has issued an advisory to all elementary and secondary schools on data privacy and security issues to be considered in negotiating agreements with online service providers or...more

Department of Education Closes 2014 with Prolific Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) was busy the last quarter of 2014, issuing guidance on six issues, plus another already in 2015. The Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), Frequently Asked Questions, and Fact Sheets provide an...more

Department of Education Issues Guidance on Sufficient Communication Modalities

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and the U.S. Department of Justice distributed a joint Dear...more

How to project gainful employment rates - Part 1

On October 31, the U.S. Department of Education promulgated its new “gainful employment” or “GE” regulations. As we discussed in a prior post, the new rules apply to all programs offered by for-profit, proprietary...more

How to Respond to FOIA Requests For Overall Teacher Summative Ratings?

It has come to our attention that certain school districts in Connecticut have already received requests under the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] for access to overall district and school level summative ratings of all...more

Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Race and “Resource Comparability”

Yesterday, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a 37-page guidance document on “Resource Comparability” and unequal distribution of education resources along racial or ethic lines in...more

Residency and “Illegal Alien Status” Are Not Mutually Exclusive for School Accommodations: A Friendly Reminder From Washington...

It is worth remembering that when determining if someone is a resident of your school district, the fact that someone may not actually be a legal resident of this nation is irrelevant. In order to underscore this fact, the...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidelines On Collecting Student Data

This past July, the U.S. Department of Education released the Transparency Best Practices for Schools and Districts, a new set of guidelines created to improve relations between school districts and parents surrounding school...more

DOJ and DOE Warning: School Enrollment Practices Must Not Discourage Enrollment of Immigrant Students

According to the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, U.S. school districts are discouraging student enrollment based on their parents’ illegal immigrant status. The Departments issued guidance, a frequently asked...more

Federal Government Bars Immigration Checks By Schools

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have recently issued new guidance – in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter to school administrators nationwide – barring public schools from conducting immigration checks on...more

California Court Rules Teacher Tenure Statutes Unconstitutional

On June 10, 2014, the trial court judge in Vergara v. State of California issued a decision striking down as unconstitutional five provisions of the California Education Code regarding public school teacher tenure procedures....more

2014 Legislative Short Session - Education Bills Introduced

The NC General Assembly kicked off its 2014 Short Session (adjournment goal of July 4th is reasonable) with bill introductions that are relevant...more

Latest Developments From The Connecticut General Assembly: The Education Committee Speaks

Before the deadline for committee action, the General Assembly’s Education Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee a plethora of bills. Among the most noteworthy were: 1) a bill that would delay the...more

Separate and Unequal

Unlike people, not all schools are created equal. Anyone who doubts that need only review the results of the Civil Rights Data Collection [“CRDC”] for the 2011-2012 school year, which were released on March 21, 2014 by...more

Connecticut State Department of Education Due Process Hearing Decisions for the 2013 Calendar Year: A Summary

During 2013, the State Department of Education handled approximately 239 requests for due process hearings to resolve issues with student special education programs. Of those requests, only a small minority were resolved by a...more

The U.S. Department of Education Continues Its War on Bullying - “Dear Colleague” Letter Focuses on Protecting Students with...

A school district’s failure to properly address bullying of students with disabilities could result in a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for those students. This is the message clearly conveyed to school...more

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