IDEA Part B Final Regulations Released: ED Sidesteps Federal Role, Sends Many Issues to States A year of suspense ended when the final regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04) were released in August by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The regulations were publishedd on ... Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   September 01, 2006
IDEA Part B Final Regulations Released: ED Sidesteps Federal Role, Sends Many Issues to States
Author Notes
  • Catherine Clarke, is ASHA’s director of education and regulatory advocacy. For more information, contact her by e-mail at cclarke@asha.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 4159.
    Catherine Clarke, is ASHA’s director of education and regulatory advocacy. For more information, contact her by e-mail at cclarke@asha.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 4159.×
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   September 01, 2006
IDEA Part B Final Regulations Released: ED Sidesteps Federal Role, Sends Many Issues to States
The ASHA Leader, September 2006, Vol. 11, 1-31. doi:10.1044/leader.PA.11132006.1
The ASHA Leader, September 2006, Vol. 11, 1-31. doi:10.1044/leader.PA.11132006.1
A year of suspense ended when the final regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04) were released in August by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The regulations were publishedd on Aug. 14, in the Federal Register, and they go into effect 60 days from that date. Visit the OSERs’ Web site at www.ed.gov/idea to download a copy of the final regulations.
As its overarching goal, the ED continues to provide flexibility to state and local agencies in implementing the law. The new regulations are closely aligned with the language of the law and contain few regulatory changes to avoid over-reaching the statute. Since the ED has not regulated on many issues, including those of concern to the professions-particularly on the issue of personnel qualifications-ASHA will continue to support members in advocacy efforts at state and local levels on implementation of the regulations.
The voluminous regulations comprise subparts A-H and include commentary and explanations as to why the proposed regulations were changed or not changed. The 1,700 pages of regulations can be broken down into: the preamble (70%), which summarizes the major changes, the analysis of the comments received, and the cost and benefit analysis; the regulations themselves (25%); and appendices (5%). In mid-August, the ED released model forms that included model Individualized Education Programs, procedural safeguards, and written notices.
In providing guidance, the ED weighed more than 5,500 comments from the public in response to its June 12, 2005, notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). Those public comments yielded three top issues: highly qualified personnel, specific learning disabilities, and private school placements.
ASHA made the following recommendations in 2005 that were included in the 2006 IDEA Part B final regulations:
  • Specific Learning Disabilities (§300.308, Group Members) retains the 1999 regulations that required the group responsible for determining the eligibility for a child suspected of having a specific learning disability to include the child’s parents/guardian and a team of qualified professionals, including speech-language pathologists. The 2005 NPRM omitted SLPs from the list, and ASHA lobbied for SLPs to be listed in the final regulations. ED accepted that recommendation and reverted to the requirements that were in §300.540 of the 1999 regulations.

  • Individualized Education Program (§300.322, Parent Participation). ASHA advocated for the inclusion of the provision (§300.322(e)) that requires the public agency to do whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings of the IEP meetings, including arranging for an interpreter for parents who are deaf or whose native language is not English. This resulted in retaining the 1999 regulations on this issue.

In the development, review, and revision of the IEP (§300.324), ASHA lobbied for the retention of the provision in §300.324(b)(2) to clarify that in conducting a review of the child’s IEP, the IEP team must consider the same special factors that were considered when developing the child’s IEP. This resulted in retaining the 1999 regulations on this issue.
Other Regulations Underway
Part C regulations are now in departmental clearance, and will next go to the Office of Management and Budget for review. In addition, the ED has yet to release final regulations on the “2% rule” that allows states to develop modified achievement standards and give assessments to qualified students based on those standards. States may also include “proficient” scores from the modified assessments toward determining adequate yearly progress, subject to a cap at 2% of the total tested population at the district and state levels. These regulations are expected by the end of 2006.
Mobilizing Members
ASHA has mobilized a Member Advisory Group and a National Office staff team that are in the process of conducting a thorough analysis of the final regulations, including the impact on the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. Continue to check ASHA’s IDEA Information Center Web site for further updates and analysis of the final regulations on such key issues as personnel qualifications, early intervening, cochlear implants, assistive technology, IEPs, English language learners/limited English proficient students, and specific learning disabilities. ASHA will also draw from the ED’s discussion of more than 5,500 comments received in response to the 2005 NPRM that are included in the regulations to produce materials to be used by ASHA members in future advocacy efforts at state and local levels. Look for a special supplement on IDEA in the Oct. 17 issue of The ASHA Leader.
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September 2006
Volume 11, Issue 13