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Happy Special Education Day! Looking Ahead to the Biden Administration.
Happy National Special Education Day! Today commemorates the anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (formerly the Education for all Handicapped Children Act) being signed into law in 1975. This was truly a historic milestone. Until then, many children with disabilities were excluded from school. The IDEA was enacted to ensure that every child with a disability had access to a free, appropriate, public education. As we celebrate this milestone, please take a moment to thank the special educators in your life!
What will the next year bring? A new Administration, for one. As President-elect Biden begins to select his cabinet, we are all wondering who will replace Besty DeVos. Mr. Biden has promised to select an educator as the Secretary of Education. He also said his Administration would increase funding for special education and school-based mental health programs.
We can also expect to see the Office of Civil Rights return to taking a more active role in investigating complaints, including an increasing number of complaints under Section 504 relating to student accommodations, access to educational services, and FAPE. And be sure to dust the cobwebs off of rescinded guidance from the Obama Administration’s Office for Civil Rights, like the Dear Colleague letters related to the nondiscriminatory administration of student discipline, seclusion and restraint, and transgender student rights.