Federal and State Policies and Guidance

In addition to the laws, state and federal agencies as well as the courts have issued decisions and policies interpreting and explaining the special education laws. All of these resources are described in this section for your use.

OSEP Policy LettersThe Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is a federal government agency that supports programs and projects authorized by IDEA to improve results for students with disabilities. They publish policy letters that address various IDEA issues. The OSEP Policy Letter database is searchable by topic and has additional information and guidance on IDEA.

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Questions and AnswersOSEP’s Q&As provide additional information and guidance on a variety of special education topics.

Section 504 Frequently Asked QuestionsThe Office for Civil Rights has developed this FAQ document to clarify important requirements of the Section 504 regulations.

Basic Education Circulars (BECs)A Basic Education Circular (BEC) is a document issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education which addersses policy and provides guidance to local education agencies (LEA).

Chapter 14 Questions and AnswersThe Pennsylvania Department of Education has issued several Question and Answer documents to serve as guidance when interpreting Chapter 14.

Family Policy Compliance OfficeThe Family Policy Compliance Office (FCPO) oversees the implementation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a federal law that ensures parents have the right to access their child’s education records. It also protects the privacy of students by limiting who has access to records. FERPA was amended in December 2011. An overview of these revisions can be found on their website.