IDEA Technical Changes May Affect Loan-Forgiveness Programs for School-Based SLPs The definition of “highly qualified special teachers” in recently released final regulations for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may affect eligibility for state loan-forgiveness programs for school-based speech-language pathologists. Final regulations to IDEA Parts B and C, effective June 30, 2017, make technical changes to sections 602 and ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   September 01, 2017
IDEA Technical Changes May Affect Loan-Forgiveness Programs for School-Based SLPs
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School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   September 01, 2017
IDEA Technical Changes May Affect Loan-Forgiveness Programs for School-Based SLPs
The ASHA Leader, September 2017, Vol. 22, 9. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.22092017.9
The ASHA Leader, September 2017, Vol. 22, 9. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.22092017.9
The definition of “highly qualified special teachers” in recently released final regulations for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may affect eligibility for state loan-forgiveness programs for school-based speech-language pathologists.
Final regulations to IDEA Parts B and C, effective June 30, 2017, make technical changes to sections 602 and 611–614 to conform with amendments to IDEA included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015). For the most part, the regulations remove and/or revise IDEA definitions to ensure consistency, and most of these technical changes appear innocuous.
However, the removal of the definition of “highly qualified special education teachers” in Section 300.18 may be concerning. The impact of this change depends on how states license school-based SLPs and whether they remain eligible for state loan-forgiveness programs. SLPs in some states are concerned that because of the definition change, they may no longer qualify for federal loan-forgiveness programs designed for teachers.
SLPs can contact their ASHA State Education Advocacy Leader for help and information about regulations in their specific state.
Other changes include:
  • Removing the definitions of the term “core academic subjects” and “scientifically based research” because these terms have been removed from the ESSA.

  • Moving the qualification requirements for special education teachers, including the requirements regarding alternate routes to special education teacher certification.

  • Revising the term “limited English proficient’’ to reflect the revisions to the term “English learner’’ in education law.

  • Requiring states that have adopted alternate academic achievement standards to develop guidelines and conduct alternate assessments that measure the achievement of children with the most significant cognitive disabilities against those standards.

  • Clarifying information—provided to IEP teams and parents of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities—about alternate assessments and the applicable reporting requirements.

For more information, see the notice in the Federal Register or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA’s director of education and regulatory advocacy, cclarke@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
September 2017
Volume 22, Issue 9