Special Education Report Roundup

Special Education

By Christina A. Samuels — February 16, 2016 1 min read

No state has taken the federal government up on initiatives legislated in 2004 that were aimed at reducing the paperwork burden in special education.

That nugget comes from a report released last week from the General Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog agency.

GAO officials talked with parents, teachers, central office staffers, and state administrators in 37 states. In addition, the GAO visited Rochester, N.Y., and Clinton, Ark., to get an on-the-ground perspective from an urban and a rural district.

What they found was a general sense that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires a lot of paperwork, but that districts and states are afraid of making major changes and risking a lawsuit from parents.

Also, the report noted that individual states and districts impose their own burdens that the federal government has nothing to do with, which means any paperwork reduction efforts at the federal level would have limited impact.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 17, 2016 edition of Education Week as Special Education

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