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Special-Ed. Rules

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Washington--In an attempt to "fill a gap" in the federal special-education law, the Education Department has proposed rules that will lay out a procedure for states to follow if the department rejects any of the state's annual plans to educate handicapped students.

Every state must submit a plan in order to be eligible for funds under P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. Wendy Cullar, director of the office of special-education programs, said that under the proposed rules, which appeared in the Nov. 23 Federal Register, her office would have to notify a state by certified mail if its plan is rejected and provide an opportunity for a hearing within 30 days.

"This is just a specific set of rules that fills a gap in the regulations," Ms. Cullar said. "[Previously], there was no procedure established to disapprove. What happened was that the states and special-education department negotiated, and there were some plans submitted that needed a lot of negotiations before they were approved."

Ms. Cullar said some of the states asked that the department spell out the procedure for disapproving plans but she said she did not "anticipate that this would be a procedure we would need to use often."

Any comments on the proposed rules must be submitted to the office of special-education programs, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Switzer Building, Room 3086, Washington, D.C. 20202, by Feb. 21, 1985.--at

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