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

Educational service agency (Sec. 300.12)

Comment: One commenter questioned the accuracy of the citation, 20 U.S.C. 1401(5), as the basis for including "intermediate educational unit" in the definition of educational service agency.

Discussion: The definition of educational service agency is based on the provisions in section 602(5) of the Act. The definition was added by the Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-17, to replace the definition of "intermediate educational unit" (IEU) in section 602(23) of the Act, as in effect prior to June 4, 1997. Educational service agency does not exclude entities that were considered IEUs under prior law. To avoid any confusion about the use of this term, the definition clarifies that educational service agency includes entities that meet the definition of IEU in section 602(23) of the Act as in effect prior to June 4, 1997. We believe the citation for IEU is consistent with the Act.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter requested that the regulations clarify that the reference to the definition of educational service agency in the definition of local educational agency or LEA in Sec. 300.28 means that educational service agencies (ESAs) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools have full responsibility and rights as LEAs under all provisions of the Act, including Sec. 300.226 (early intervening services).

Discussion: With respect to ESAs, we believe that the provisions in Sec. 300.12 and Sec. 300.28 clarify that ESAs have full responsibility and rights as LEAs, including the provisions in Sec. 300.226 related to early intervening services. However, the commenter's request regarding BIA schools is inconsistent with the Act. The definition of local educational agency in Sec. 300.28 and section 602(19) of the Act, including the provision on BIA funded schools in section 602(19)(C) of the Act and in Sec. 300.28(c), states that the term "LEA" includes an elementary school or secondary school funded by the BIA, "but only to the extent that the inclusion makes the school eligible for programs for which specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision of law and the school does not have a student population that is smaller than the student population of the LEA receiving assistance under the Act with the smallest student population." Therefore, BIA schools do not have full responsibility and rights as LEAs under all provisions of the Act.

Changes: None.