US DOE Proposes Changes to Regs - Seeks Comments

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The United States Department of Education has proposed two changes to the IDEA regulations.  The full text in the Federal Register is here.

The changes are to 34 C.F.R. §300.154(d) which governs the use of public insurance or benefits (including Medicaid) to pay for related services, etc.  The first change increases the amount of information that must be given to parents before making a decision to consent to the use of such benefits, including their rights under FERPA and IDEA privacy provisions.  The second change allows the school district to substitute written notice for the obtaining of consent.

The first change should give parents more information.  The second change could save a lot of money for school districts.  OSEP had previously advised school districts that they had to obtain consent each time they accessed the parent's benefits.  The documentation involved in this process can be expensive.

If you feel strongly about either change to the regulations, OSEP wants to hear from you and you should be heard.  Here is the information from the Federal Register concerning how to comment:

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before December 12, 2011. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments by fax or by e-mail. Please submit your comments only one time, in order to ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to to submit your comments electronically. Information on using, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket is available on the site under ``How To Use This Site.'' Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery. If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to Jennifer Sheehy, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5103, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202- 2600.
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