Guidance to Schools on Ensuring Equity and Providing Behavioral Supports to Students with Disabilities USDOE


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Publication August 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) that emphasizes the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. It also clarifies that the repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that children with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports. Data indicates students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than their non-disabled peers. The DCL includes two resource documents to assist teachers and school leaders. The Dear Colleague Letter, as well as additional resources, can be found on the Rethinking Discipline website.

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