ALBANY, N.Y. Oct. 23, 2017 — New York State United Teachers today expressed concern that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ move to rescind 72 guidance documents would increase conflicts when parents and teachers advocate for the rights of students with disabilities.
NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said that many of the rescinded U.S. Education Department guidance documents had been used to clarify the rights of disabled students and provide insight into the rationale behind legal provisions in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
“There is no sound reason for Betsy DeVos and the USDOE to deny this guidance to educators and school districts. As a result, we believe there is now a far greater likelihood of disputes, especially when parents and teachers fight for the most appropriate special education programs and services for a student and the local school district refuses to provide it,” Pallotta said. “These guidance documents, while they do not carry the force of law, are invaluable in protecting vulnerable students and in assisting local school districts in the implementation of IDEA.”
Pallotta said NYSUT is continuing to study the impact of DeVos’ decision, which was announced late on Friday.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.