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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

IEPs for children who transfer public agencies in the same State (Sec. 300.323(e), IEPs for children who transfer from another State Sec. 300.323(f), and Transmittal of Records Sec. 300.323(g)) (proposed Program for children who transfer public agencies (Sec. 300.323(e))

Comment: None.

Discussion: Several technical changes are needed in proposed Sec. 300.323(e) for clarity and improved readability. We believe that readability will be improved by reorganizing this provision into three separate paragraphs--paragraph (e), which will address transfers within the same State, paragraph (f), which will address transfers from another State, and paragraph (g), which will address the transmittal of records.

In addition, clarity will be improved by changing certain terms to align with terms that are more commonly used in this part. For example, while the Act uses the term "Program" in the title of this requirement (referring to an "individualized education program"), we believe it would be clearer to use "IEP" throughout this provision. In addition, as noted in the discussion of Sec. 300.304(c)(5), we believe that it is important to include language stating that the requirements in Sec. 300.323 are applicable to children with disabilities who have an IEP in effect in a previous public agency and who transfer to a new school within the same "school year," rather than the same "academic year," because "school year" is the term most commonly understood by parents and school officials. Further, it is important that the regulations clearly and consistently differentiate between the responsibilities of the "new" public agency and the "previous" public agency.

Changes: We have restructured proposed Sec. 300.323(e) into three separate paragraphs, and each paragraph has been re-named to comport with the three concepts in the statutory requirement. Proposed Sec. 300.323(e)(1)(i) has been changed to new Sec. 300.323(e), "IEPs for children who transfer public agencies in the same State." Proposed Sec. 300.323(e)(1)(ii) has been changed to new Sec. 300.323(f), "IEPs for children who transfer from another State." Proposed Sec. 300.323(e)(2) has been changed to new Sec. 300.323(g), "Transmittal of records."

We have substituted "IEP" for "program" in new Sec. 300.323(e) (proposed Sec. 300.323(e)(1)(i)), and have made the following changes to new Sec. 300.323(e) (proposed Sec. 300.323(e)(1)(i)) and new Sec. 300.323(f) (proposed Sec. 300.323(e)(1)(ii)): (1) added language to clarify that the requirements apply to a child with a disability who has an IEP in effect in a previous public agency and transfers to a new school within the same school year; (2) replaced the term "is consistent with Federal and State law" with "meets the applicable requirements in Sec. Sec. 300.320 through 300.324;" and (3) clarified when a requirement applies to the "new" public agency to which the child transfers versus the "previous" public agency.

Comment: Several commenters requested that the regulations clarify the meaning of "comparable services."

Discussion: We do not believe it is necessary to define "comparable services" in these regulations because the Department interprets "comparable" to have the plain meaning of the word, which is "similar" or "equivalent." Therefore, when used with respect to a child who transfers to a new public agency from a previous public agency in the same State (or from another State), "comparable" services means services that are "similar" or "equivalent" to those that were described in the child's IEP from the previous public agency, as determined by the child's newly-designated IEP Team in the new public agency.

Changes: None.