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COPAA Statement on The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Decision to Rescind Guidance Documents

Date: October 24, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) In response to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) announcement on Friday, October 20 to rescind over 70 federal guidance documents, including Dear Colleague Letters, Denise Marshall, COPAA’s executive director, made the following statement: "Parents of children with disabilities and advocates rely on the U.S. Department of Education to provide accurate and clarifying information regarding children’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other civil rights laws. They need this information to participate as meaningful partners with the school in designing a child’s Individualized Education Program and assuring the child’s rights are being upheld. As such, COPAA is disappointed in the way OSERS has made this announcement because the process undertaken lacks complete transparency to the public. It is unfortunate that the list of rescissions does not include any explanation for changes made which leaves stakeholders in the dark. OSERS has an obligation to make clear why revocations are necessary; and, although our initial review of the list of rescinded documents indicates that many have updated versions or the statutes to which they refer have been recently amended, the mere fact that parents and advocates are left to figure out whether replacement documents are available or not shows OSERS disregard for their first obligation to parents and families as recipients under IDEA." We look forward to learning more from OSERS. In the meantime, COPAA has begun to analyze the list of rescissions and the impact these decisions will have on children with disabilities and their families. Thank you to our members who have sent in information, we welcome you to continue to do so. The analysis document will be updated as we learn more. To review COPAA’s early analysis of the rescinded documents, visit: https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/copaa.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/docs/accessible_2017/OSERS_Rescinded_Guidance_cha.pdf To see OSERS full list, of rescissions visit: https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/copaa.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/docs/accessible_2017/OSERS_list_of_rescinded_guid.pdf

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