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New Materials and Information Available from OSERS on Regulatory Reform

OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Kim Richey, OSEP Acting Director Ruth Ryder, and RSA Acting Commissioner Carol Dobak hosted a call today to provide further information regarding the announcement on Friday, October 20, 2017 that 72 guidance documents relating to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective. 

In advance of the call, OSERS issued additional information (available here) relating to each of the 72 identified guidance documents, adding a column to their grid explaining why each document was rescinded.

On the call, the leadership of each agency underscored multiple times that "there is no change in policy" at OSEP or RSA and that the deletion of these 72 documents "will not impact" children and youth with disabilities served by OSEP or people with disabilities served by RSA.

STEP staff participated in the call and our take away is that Phase 1 (the batch of retired documents announced on October 20, 2017) of the process involved documents that were "so plainly outdated" that the federal agency leadership was surprised that they caused any controversy.

The rescinded documents from OSEP fall into 5 broad categories: 
  1. Annual Programmatic Memos
  2. Specific Grant Requirements
  3. Guidance Issued in the times between Reauthorizations of IDEA and Issuance of Regulations
  4. Transmittal Memos (Public Notices)
  5. Memos that Addressed other Statutes that were time limited or those laws have since changed
On the call stakeholders were told that OSEP has not done this kind of purge in the past, but RSA does it every time there is a reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act and that is why the RSA only found 9 documents to OSEP's 63.

The agencies committed to a transparent process as they move through the remaining phases of Regulation Reform and assured listeners that they would follow the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act as they do their work.

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