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commencing from referral, in new §303.310. For clarity, we

have revised the language in this section to ensure that the timeline applies to both lead agencies and EIS providers because EIS providers as well as lead agencies implement these requirements and conduct initial evaluations, initial assessments, and initial IFSP meetings.

As we noted in the NPRM, however, we fully appreciate that a lead agency or EIS provider may not be able to comply with the 45-day timeline because of exceptional family circumstances that are beyond its control. For example, as we noted in the NPRM, a lead agency or EIS provider cannot meet the 45-day timeline from the date of referral without parental consent for initial evaluations and initial assessments. Moreover, delays in obtaining parental consent may drastically reduce the time available for the lead agency or EIS provider to perform the initial evaluation and initial assessments and prepare for the initial IFSP meeting. Rather than attempting to address these concerns by commencing the 45-day timeline from the date the lead agency or EIS provider obtains parental consent, it is more appropriate to address these concerns

by providing for limited exceptions in new §303.310(b) to

clarify when the 45-day timeline in new §303.310(a) would