The Education Department stated on Monday that these 72 documents will have “no effect” on services provided to disabled students
Over concerns that 72 rescinded policy documents will impact services offered to students with disabilities, the Education Department hastened to reassure the public that these documents would not change or impact current services and regulations.
“There are absolutely no policy implications to these rescission,” spokeswoman for Secretary Betsy DeVos said. “Students with disabilities and their advocates will see no impact on services provided.”
A list published on Monday in the Washington Post revealed the 72 policy documents being phased out, many of which were clarifications for parents, educators, and disabled students as to how the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act functions.
Among the rescinded documents is a 2006 document explaining the rights of children with disabilities in private schools that was amended in 2011, and a 2007 document detailing a vocational program that no longer exists.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services stated in a newsletter issued on Friday that “a total of 72 guidance documents . . . have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.”
Part of the Trump administration’s effort to remove “superfluous” regulations from various institutions
Typically, when Secretary DeVos has rescinded similar documents in the past it usually meant a change in policy – for example, department guidance directing that transgender children be allowed to use the bathroom appropriate to their gender identity rather than biological gender.
Lawmakers and disability rights activists were therefore wary of the Secretary’s decision to phase out 72 documents.
Senator Maggie Hassan expressed her concern, saying: “I am concerned that the process by which the Department of Education made this announcement caused confusion and worry . . . particularly given Secretary DeVos’s troubling record of failing to recognize that the rights of these students are protected.”