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IDEA and Virtual Schools Guidance from OSERS

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The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the requirements in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that apply to public virtual schools.

Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of educational models involving varying degrees of in-person and online instruction and practice. This letter addresses the state’s general supervision responsibilities and the applicability of IDEA’s child find provisions to children attending public virtual schools. The letter also clarifies the responsibility for the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities attending public virtual schools.

Read more about this guidance on the OSERS website and in an OSERS blog post.

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Supports programs and research that help educate and improve lives of individuals with disabilities, and provides for rehabilitation.

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Federal law governing rights of children with disabilities to receive free and appropriate public education in least restrictive environment.

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Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Under IDEA, special education is provided at public expense, under public supervision, and without charge.

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