IDEA Changed Without Public Hearings

IDEA, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, was changed without public hearings and with little awareness of the public, effective June 30, 2017. These changes occurred so as to have IDEA conform to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Key changes include:

  1. Removal of the language: “core curriculum subjects”, “highly qualified special education teachers”, and of “scientifically based research”;
  2. Qualifications for special education teachers now include alternative routes to certification;
  3. A definition of “regular high school diploma”, including those based on alternative academic standards;
  4. Changes in assessing students with significant cognitive disabilities who complete alternative achievement standards,
  5. Limited English Proficient is now called “English learner”.

As the field of special education continues to decline, so does the specificity of the laws which govern it.