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 Letters: The 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.

opens in a new windowSection 504 Frequently Asked Questions

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

opens in a new windowBasic Education Circulars (BECs)

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

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

opens in a new windowFamily Policy Compliance Office

The 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.

COVID-19 Resources

Below are various policy and guidance documents from both federal and state agencies regarding COVID-19. These documents provide information that applies to general education and student with disabilities. Some of the polices and guidance documents may have information that applies to the public but are included because their information also impacts the educational setting as well.

PDE’s Resources for School Communities During COVID-19

Order of the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Face Coverings in School Entitiesopens PDF file

PDE’s Masking Order FAQ

PDE’s COVID-19 Answers to Common Questions (2021-22 school year)

Answers to FAQs: Additional Information Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic from BSE

Pennsylvania’s Responding to COVID-19 Guide

OSEP COVID-19 Q&A: Implementation of IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution Proceduresopens PDF file

PDE’s Guidelines and Answers to FAQs on COVID-19 Compensatory Services

PDE’s COVID-19 Compensatory Services Flowchartopens PDF file