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

Program options (Sec. 300.110)

Comment: A few commenters recommended revising Sec. 300.110 to require States to ensure that each public agency have in effect policies, procedures, and programs to provide children with disabilities the variety of educational programs and services available to nondisabled children. The commenters stated that Sec. 300.110 does not provide any guidance to educators. A few commenters stated that "vocational education is an outdated term" and proposed replacing it with "career-technical and adult education" or "career and technical education."

Discussion: We do not believe it is necessary to change Sec. 300.110. Under this provision, States must ensure that public agencies take steps to ensure that children with disabilities have access to the same program options that are available to nondisabled children in the area served by the agency, whatever those options are, and we are not aware of any implementation problems with this requirement. We believe that it is important that educators understand that children with disabilities must have access to the same range of programs and services that a public agency provides to nondisabled children and that the regulation conveys this point. We also do not believe it is necessary to replace the term "vocational education" with the language recommended by the commenter. The term is broad in its meaning and generally accepted and understood in the field and, therefore, would encompass such areas as "career-technical" and "technical education."

Changes: None.

Comment: Several commenters requested that the regulations explicitly state that a child with a disability who has not yet received a regular high school diploma or "aged out" of special education may participate in dual enrollment programs and receive services in a postsecondary or community-based setting if the IEP Team decides it is appropriate.

Discussion: Section 300.110, consistent with section 612(a)(2) of the Act, requires States to ensure that public agencies take steps to ensure that children with disabilities have access to the same program options that are available to nondisabled children in the area served by the agency. This would apply to dual enrollment programs in post-secondary or community-based settings. Therefore, a State would be responsible for ensuring that a public agency that offered dual enrollment programs in post-secondary or community-based settings to a nondisabled student would have that option available to a student with disabilities whose IEP Team determined that such a program would best meet the student's needs. However, we do not believe that the Act requires public agencies to provide dual enrollment programs in post-secondary or community-based settings for students with disabilities, if such programs are not available to nondisabled secondary school students. Therefore, we are not modifying the regulations.

Changes: None.