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Special-Education Regulations Are Issued

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The Education Department has issued its long-awaited regulations for new federal programs to serve handicapped infants and toddlers.

The proposed rules, published Nov. 18 in the Federal Register, follow closely the language contained in the Education of the Handicapped Amendments Act of 1986, P.L. 99-457.

Extends Rights Coverage

Passed by the Congress more than 14 months ago, the law extends special-education rights to all handicapped 3- to 5-year-olds as of 1991 and authorizes a new grant program to serve infants with disabilities.

The delay in issuing the regulations--originally intended for publication in early summer--had caused frustration among officials in the various state agencies charged with implementing the new programs.

Federal officials attributed the delay, in part, to the "crush of business."

The department began awarding grants for the programs this fall.

The deadlines for written comments on the new regulations are Jan. 19 for the handicapped infants' program and Feb. 16 for the program for 3- to 5-year-olds.

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