Priority Area: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

December 2015

Compiled by: Carol Massanari

Introduction: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is federal legislation that serves as the foundation to providing students with disabilities access to a free appropriate public education. Initial focus of IDEA has been on ensuring equal access to an education through compliance monitoring, but over time, the focus has shifted to promoting improved results through access to the general education curriculum and increased accountability for results, not only compliance. The most recent amendments to IDEA, Public Law [P.L.] 108-446, were signed into law December 3, 2004, by President George W. Bush.

Background: This reauthorization aligned IDEA with the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to ensure that children with disabilities are included in education reform and accountability efforts. Greater emphasis was placed on ensuring that children with disabilities have access to and are successful in the general curriculum by including them in the accountability systems. This priority area message has been identified by experts in the field and supports trainings and technical assistance through the California Department of Education, Special Education Division (CDE SED) contract with California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (CalSTAT) project. To request training or technical assistance that reflect any or all of the priority areas, please visit the CalSTAT Web site at http://www.calstat.org/ta.html.

Key Aspects:

  1. Improving Educational Results for Children with Disabilities
  2. Ensuring Reasonable Discipline While Promoting Safe Schools
  3. Reducing Complaints and Litigation
  4. Teachers—The Lynchpin to Success for Students with Disabilities
  5. Ensuring Appropriate Use of Funds
  6. Accessing Information Related to IDEA Regulations

RESOURCES AND WEB SITES:

  1. Improving Educational Results for Children with Disabilities

  2. Ensuring Reasonable Discipline While Promoting Safe Schools

  3. Back to Top

  4. Reducing Complaints and Litigation Restoring Trust and Reducing Litigation

  5. Back to Top

  6. Teachers–The Lynchpin to Success for Students with Disabilities Developing Individualized Education Programs

    • http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/partb-module14/
      This module, prepared by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs provides information about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) team meetings. The module includes information about what happens in the meeting, who is to be there, what is discussed, and what must be considered.
    • Supporting General Education and Special Education Teachers

    • http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/sr/
      This resource, published by the California Department of Education, provides a variety of resources for special education and general education teachers to support the success of students with disabilities.
    • http://www.centeroninstruction.org/topic.cfm?k=SE
      This page provides materials and resources about instruction for students with disabilities that can be used by both special and general education teachers to support success of students with disabilities in accessing and learning the general curriculum.
    • http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/iris-resource-locator/
      The IRIS Center provides a variety of training modules designed specifically to build skills and knowledge of all teachers on instructional practices proven effective for students with disabilities. The IRIS Center is funded by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs.
    • http://www.gtlcenter.org/
      The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders is funded by the US Department of Education to develop tools and resources to support states with meeting federal requirements around highly qualified personnel. While information is often geared toward state departments of education, many materials can be found that are relevant to local education agencies seeking to improve their understanding of teacher effectiveness.
    • Defining What It Means to be a "Highly Qualified" Special Education Teacher

    • http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/partb-module7/
      This module was developed by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs to outline the provisions of IDEA 2004 regarding highly qualified teacher requirements.
    • http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/methods/teachers/hqtflexibility.html
      This fact sheet lays out the US Department of Education's highly qualified teacher requirements as specified by the Elementary Secondary Education Act (once known as No Child Left Behind [NCLB]).
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  8. Ensuring Appropriate Use of Funds

  9. Accessing Information Related to IDEA Regulations

    • http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/lr/ideareathztn.asp
      This page provides links to important references and resources on the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
    • http://idea.ed.gov/
      This Web site was developed by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs to provide extensive resources related to implementing the 2004 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Information is divided into major IDEA topical areas and provides information on regulations as well as implementation practices.
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