Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has rolled back Education Department guidance for students with disabilities, but advocates were still reviewing whether the changes would make any major impacts, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Seventy-two policy documents were rescinded because they were "outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective," according to a newsletter released Friday by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. One of the guidance documents included information on how schools could spend federal money set aside for special education.
"All of these are meant to be very useful … in helping schools and parents understand and fill in with concrete examples the way the law is meant to work when it’s being implemented in various situations," said Lindsay E. Jones, the chief policy and advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Disability rights groups this year during a hearing held by the Education Department on possible changes to the special education guidance pushed officials to keep all of the documents in place, said Jones.
Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., called the elimination of the guidance, "the latest in a series of disturbing actions taken by the Trump administration to undermine civil rights for vulnerable Americans."
"Much of the guidance around [the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] focused on critical clarifications of the regulations required to meet the needs of students with disabilities and provide them a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment," Scott said in a statement.
"Notwithstanding the actions taken by the Department today, the regulations still remained enforced; however they lack the clarification the guidance provided."
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