COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 7

January 14, 2005

 

INFORMATIONAL


TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-446)

 

 

Public Law 108-446, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, was enacted on December 3,2004. Although the Board of Education has not yet revised special education regulations, the new federal statute will supersede existing regulations in any areas of inconsistency. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with information about steps the Department of Education plans to take in implementing the new requirements as well as information designed to assist localities in doing the same. Specifically, we will address our immediate response to the new requirements and provide several guidance documents which will be forwarded by mail and copied to local directors of special education.

 

Timeline for Implementation of the IDEIA

 

Many of the new requirements are effective July 1, 2005. The Highly Qualified Special Education Teacher definition in Part B is effective immediately, as well as subparts 2, 3 and 4 of Part D, including provisions related to federal funding for personnel preparation and technical assistance and supports to improve results.

 

Plans for Revising State Regulations

 

Our plan is to await final federal regulations before revised state regulations are prepared. State regulations will be revised as soon as possible after our receipt of the final federal regulations, in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act.

 

Special Education Dispute Resolution

 

The special education dispute resolution staff, mediators, and hearing officers will apply the IDEIA to events which occur after the effective date. Where the events occurred before the effective date, the special education dispute resolution staff, mediators, and hearing officers will apply IDEA requirements as they existed prior to the IDEIA. Where federal or state regulations conflict with the effective IDEIA, the statutory language will be applied. Regulations developed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Education will be applied as they become effective.

 

The IDEIA requires that additional information be provided on the model due process form. The revised model form will be sent to local directors of special education and posted on the departments website by July 1, 2005.

 

Federal Program Monitoring of Special Education Programs

 

Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, the state's monitoring of Part B will include monitoring the new IDEIA of 2004. The new requirements will impact each phase of the monitoring system. Regulations developed by the U. S. Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Education will be applied as they become effective.

 

Special Education Annual Plans and IDEA Part B Grant Awards

 

As a condition of the 2005-2006 grant award of federal funds, localities must assure compliance with all requirements of the IDEIA. Attached is an Assurance Statement for this purpose. This statement should be submitted with the 2005-2006 Annual Plan.

 

Prior Written Notice and Procedural Safeguards

 

The IDEIA requires that additional information be provided

to parents as part of the prior written notice and statement of procedural safeguards. The revised model notice will be sent to local directors of special education and posted on the Departments website by July 1, 2005.

 

 

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. We realize the difficulties created by federal amendments that are effective while regulations are at least several months away. Providing assistance to school divisions and engaging in discussion to develop regulations, during this period, are our major priorities.

 

Questions about this memorandum may be referred to H. Douglas Cox, assistant superintendent of the Office of Special Education and Student Services, at (804) 225-3252, or by email at doug.cox@doe.virginia.gov, or Judy Douglas, director of the Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services, at (804) 225-2013, or by email at judy.douglas@doe.virginia.gov.

 

JLD/jad

 

Attachment: Assurance Statement

 

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2005/inf007a.pdf

 

cc: Local Directors of Special Education