U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance today to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.

The guidance released today includes a parent and educator resource guide; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question and answer document on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools; and a DCL and question and answer documents on the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools.

“These guidance documents share information with our full school communities – educators, parents, and students – about important educational rights, including school obligations to identify, evaluate, and serve students with disabilities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, the Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “Vigilant attention to the rights of students with disabilities will help ensure fair treatment for every student and that every student has equal access to educational programs and has an opportunity to experience success.”

The Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), provides a broad overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The guidance describes school districts’ nondiscrimination responsibilities, including obligations to provide educational services to students with disabilities, and outlines the steps parents can take to ensure that their children secure all of the services they are entitled to receive.

Among other things, the Section 504 Parent and Educator Resource Guide:

  • Defines and provides examples to illustrate the meaning of key terms used in Section 504.
  • Highlights requirements of Section 504 in the area of public elementary and secondary education, including provisions related to the identification, evaluation, and placement of students with disabilities, and procedures for handling disputes and disagreements between parents and school districts.

The second guidance package released by OCR addresses the circumstances under which use of restraint or seclusion can result in discrimination against students with disabilities, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Department’s May 15, 2012, Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document suggested best practices to prevent the use of restraint or seclusion, recommending that school districts never use physical restraint or seclusion for disciplinary purposes and never use mechanical restraint, and that trained school officials use physical restraint or seclusion only if a child’s behavior poses imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others. The DCL and question and answer document released today offer additional information about the legal limitations on use of restraint or seclusion to assist school districts in meeting their obligations to students with disabilities.

The third guidance package released today was developed by OCR and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The jointly-issued Dear Colleague Letter and question and answer documents will help update educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders to better understand the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools under Section 504 and IDEA. These documents provide information about how to provide equal opportunity in compliance with Section 504 in key areas such as charter school recruitment, application, admission, enrollment and disenrollment, accessibility of facilities and programs, and nonacademic and extracurricular activities. The documents are responsive to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s 2012 report, Charter Schools: Additional Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities, which included the recommendation that the Department issue updated guidance on the obligations of charter schools.

“It is critical to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education in charter schools,” said Sue Swenson, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Department’s assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. “These guidance documents are designed to support states, local education agencies, and charter school personnel to understand their responsibilities under IDEA and Section 504.”

The Section 504 Charter guidance:

  • Explains that charter school students with disabilities (and those seeking to attend) have the same rights under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA as other public school students with disabilities.
  • Details the Section 504 right to nondiscrimination in recruitment, application, and admission to charter schools.
  • Clarifies that during the admission process a charter school generally may not ask a prospective student if he or she has a disability.
  • Reminds charter schools, other entities, and parents that charter school students with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504.

The IDEA Charter guidance:

  • Emphasizes that children with disabilities who attend charter schools and their parents retain all rights and protections under Part B of IDEA (such as FAPE) just as they would at other public schools.
  • Provides that under IDEA a charter school may not unilaterally limit the services that must be provided a particular student with a disability.
  • Reminds schools that the least restrictive environment provisions require that, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities attending public schools, including public charter schools, be educated with students who are nondisabled.
  • Clarifies that students with disabilities attending charter schools retain all IDEA rights and protections included in the IDEA discipline procedures.

In addition to these documents, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document designed for parents to provide a brief overview of the rights of public charter school students with disabilities and the legal obligations of charter schools under Section 504 and the IDEA.

The mission of OCR is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. Among the federal civil rights laws OCR is responsible for enforcing are Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and Title II of the ADA. The mission of OSERS is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation. OSERS is responsible for administering the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).

For more information about OCR and the anti-discrimination laws that it enforces, please visit its website and follow OCR on twitter @EDcivilrights. For more information about OSERS and IDEA, please visit its website and follow OSERS on twitter @ed_sped_rehab.


Tom Clancy’s The department won’t Have Microtransactions, Says creative Director

Tom Clancy's The Division Won't Have Microtransactions, Says Creative Director

Ubisoft big‘s creative director Magnus Jansen has stated that there’ll no presence of microtransactionswithin the studio’s upcoming put up-pandemic open world thirdcharacter RPG – Tom Clancy’s Thedivision.

In an interview with British video gaming weblog VG247, Jansen said: “[Microtransactions are] one of thethings that we looked at because if people like the game and need to purchase more matters I do notmind that. however microtransactions, because it‘s defined, we do now not have them. You can not spenda touch bit of money and rapidtune to get higher equipment or pay to win or vanity gadgets. We do nothave that. the fast solution isn’t any, we don’t have microtransactions, duration.”

This goes to in addition cement one side of the story. On Thursday, in direct assessment to Jansen’s claims, The division‘s page listing at the playstation store was spotted with the phrases ‘In-recreationpurchases electiveinside the description phase. however in an interview with Gamespot on Friday, Jansensaid that microtransactions “were underneath attention, however [pay-to-win] in no way made it into the sport“.

It still does not explain why the game page continues to carry that identical description, or if it’s a misprint ready to be corrected. Jansen went directly to clarify that they do have planned downloadablecontent material (DLC): “we are able to have DLC. We don’t have it but due to the fact we’re just barelycompleting the sport. I simply do not want everyone to say that after we announce the DLC, ‘you said[no microtransactions]’.”

The department will have a closed beta – for Xbox One, playstation four, and home windows pctowardthe quit of the month. it will likely be available publicly for buy over a month later, on March eight.

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Tags: Magnus Jansen, Microtransactions, The division, Tom Clancy, Ubisoft big

Hawaii State Department of Education: Serious Inquiries Only

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The Hawaii State Department of Education is asking for only qualified and certified teachers to apply to fill the thousands of teacher vacancies that made news last month. After news got out that the beautiful state was in desperate need to hire, thousands of wishful thinkers began to apply. The problem? Many of them aren’t even teachers. “Following a recent drive in April, false reporting and inaccurate blogging on social media led to a major influx of applications from people who just want to move to Hawaii. Many of these inquiries came from individuals who are not interested in teaching, but who just want to move to Hawaii under the false impression that the Department will pay for people to move here to live and work,” said the department’s spokesperson Donalyn Dela Cruz to NBC News. The department went so far as to release a graphic clarifying what it’s looking for when it says it needs teachers. <;p>Like many other districts throughout the country, the department stressed that it is looking for teachers to fill vacancies in special education as well as math and science subject areas. Further, although many people fantasize about living and working in Hawaii, NBC News reminds people of the reason why high teacher turnover exists in the state to begin with. “One of the reasons that Hawaii struggles with high teacher turnover is the high cost of living in Hawaii. According to the National Education Association, the average starting teacher salary for Hawaii in 2012 – 2013 was $41,027, just above the national average. However, Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in, according to CNBC,” NBC said.

EPCA Meets Transport Department, App-Based Taxi Service Officials

EPCA Meets Transport Department, App-Based Taxi Service Officials

A day before the Supreme Court takes up the matter, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) met Transport department officials of NCR states and representatives of app-based cab services like Ola who have been asked to switch to CNG by March 31.

EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal said officials of the app-based companies were categorically informed during the meeting, which was “urgently” convened, that they will have to abide by the SC order .

“Uber did not have any representation in the meeting.

They said that they got the information about the meeting late. While that is okay, there is no way any company can wriggle out of the SC directives,” Lal said.

Deep Singh, Business Head North at Ola, said that the company will abide by the SC order and have already submitted a letter to EPCA to confirm the same. The company has over 26,000 CNG cars in its Delhi fleet currently.

Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), who is a member of EPCA, said that only CNG cabs of app-based companies will ply in the NCR region from April 1 while those using Delhi as a transit will not be allowed to take or off-load passengers.

The Supreme Court in January had extended the deadline for all taxis in the National Capital Region to convert to CNG mode from March 1 to March 31 and directed the Centre to set up 104 gas stations in ten districts of NCR.

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Tags: Apps, EPCA, India, Ola, Ola Cabs, Uber