IDEA 2004 Reauthorization

IDEA 2004 Regulations

The IDEA 2004 regulations go into effect 60 days after they are officially published in the Federal Register. These regulations are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2006. Thus, the federal IDEA regulations will go into effect on October 14, 2006.

By Monday, August 8, all
IDEA 2004 Regulations were reformatted and published on the Wrightslaw site. The reformatted regulations are 115 pages long (down from 374 pages). They are easier to read, print and study. You may also be interested in the Summary of Changes in the IDEA 2004 Regulations (10 pages, pdf)

On August 3, 2006, the U. S. Department of Education published the IDEA 2004 regulations as two preambles (1244 pages), the regulations (374 pages), and five Appendices (90 pages) for a total of 1,705 pages.  You may download a synopsis of changes in the regulations, preambles 1244 pages), regulations (374 pages), and appendices (90 pages) from the Department of Education website :

On Thursday, July 27, 2006 the Office of Management and Budget approved the IDEA 2004 regulations.
The purpose of regulations is to clarify and explain the law. A regulation must be consistent with the law.
The reauthorized IDEA 2004 statute (law) includes significant changes in many important areas,
for list of important visit the Wrightlaws website:
IDEA 2004 regulations

How to Provide a Comment on Proposed Regs

If you intend to provide a comment on the proposed IDEA 2004 regs (in a meeting or in writing), you need to be prepared. Please read the specific section in IDEA 2004 and the proposed regulation very carefully.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and
Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 describes substantive changes to the five key statutes of IDEA 2004 by section and subsection. Text added to IDEA 2004 is in italics. Text deleted from IDEA 97 has been struck through.


The proposed IDEA 2004 regulations (reformatted with subsections indented under main sections, outlined, easy to read).

The Explanations and Commentary for IDEA 2004 Regulations (also reformatted) includes the Dept of Ed's comments and explanations about their rationale for changes. See pages 1 and 2 for Information about how to submit a comment (i.e., issues, deadlines, addresses, how to to send, etc.).    

The U.S. Department of Education has announced proposed (draft) regulations,  COPAA has a pdf version on their site.
(this document is over 650 pages long and cross references both current regs and the new statute):

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), PASSED both House and Senate, it is on it's way to the White House for the President to sign. 

Summary of Major Provisions:

Summary of IDEA:

IDEA '1997 Compared to IDEA '2004' Changes:

The Wrightslaw website has a helpful and informative link that summarizes the changes and discussed potential impact to our children:

Statement from Sen. Kennedy:

The bills have passed both the House and the Senate. Next, Congress must “conference” or reconcile the two versions of IDEA bills during a joint House and Senate conference committee. This process must be completed prior to the end of the 108th Congress, which ends in December 2004.  If a final bill is not sent to the President this year, the bills will need to be re-introduced and the process starts over with the 109th Congress in January 2005.

The U.S. House of Representatives appointed its conferees to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bills to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  This action sets the stage for negotiations between both Houses for possible final passage of an IDEA reauthorization bill during the lame duck session scheduled for mid November.  House and Senate conferees' staffers are expected to spend much of the time between now and mid November to try to resolve the many differences between the bills.

House conferees are:
Reps. Boehner (R-OH), Castle (R-DE), Ehlers (R-MI), Keller (R-FL), Wilson (R-SC), Miller (D-CA), Woolsey (D-CA) and Owens (D-NY) from the Education and the Workforce Committee; Reps. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Smith (R-TX) and Conyers
(D-MI) from the Judiciary Committee; and Reps. Barton (R-TX), Bilirakis (R-FL) and Dingell (D-MI) from the Energy and Commerce Committee.
(The Judiciary Committee is involved due to provisions related to parents representing themselves in due process and the Energy and Commerce Committee is participating due to Medicaid related reimbursements to schools.)
This information is from The Arc, posted on MassPAC on October 11, 2004.

Our homepage update is from LD Advocate

May 13, 2004, Thursday - S.1248 passed the Senate, by a vote of 95-3. We would like to thank 3 senators who valiantly stood by children and families by casting their “NO” votes! Thank you – Senator Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Leahy (D-VT), and Senator Jeffords (I-VT)!!  It's not over yet!!

IDEA Rapid Response Network (RRN)

IDEA Briefing on the vote

Wrightslaw has an article on latest status and summary of events of the IDEA Reauthorization process:

IDEA Reauthorization News - Home page (sroll down for a list articles)

    IDEA Update - October 7, 2003

    Back To School, Backs To The Wall: IDEA Reauthorization

Our Children Left Behind website many articles and summaries of events of the IDEA Reauthorization process:

    Up-to-date information on the IDEA Reauthorization

Center For Law and Education has sample letter:

"An Open Letter to Senators Gregg and Kennedy re/IDEA and NCLB" PDF Icon

On June 12, 2003 the Senator voted on Senate bill S06.

The Senate HELP Committee will mark up this legislation on Wednesday, June 25.

For a side by side comparison of  the House bill and Current Senate bill (S06) IDEA, for parent to use as a tool.

It has Part A & B for now.

It is located at:

Thank you another dedicated parent created this, Debbie Brown

SPARC - Special Parent Assistance & Resource Center - NJ

Ask your friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers to

 contact our Senators before Memory Day, 2003.

Explain that you oppose changes to the IDEA.  Your message is simple:

HR 1350 is the bill for IDEA reauthorization to reference. Tell them to vote NO to HR 1350.

Possible talking points include:

Our Mass. Senators contact information:

Senator Edward Kennedy
315 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Fax: 202-224-2417
Senator John Kerry
304 Russel Senate Office Building
Washington DC. 20510
Fax: 202-224-8525
Senator Kennedy Boston Office
2400 JFK Building
Boston, MA 02203
Sentor John Kerry Boston office
One Bowdoin Square, 10th Floor

Boston, MA. 02114
Fax: 617-248-3870
Visit Senator Kennedy, Capitol Hill web page:
Visit Senate John Kerry, Capitol Hill web page:


Feel free to inform them there is a petition with over 9000 signatures nationwide against HR 1350.
For more detail you can view the petition details at this website:

Please go to the link below for details on how to help educate our senators.
It is reported that members of congress are not hearing from sufficient numbers of us to make a difference.

The National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) developed an Analysis of Proposed Changes to IDEA as a side-by-side table that compares the current IDEA with the proposed bill. We converted the Analysis of Proposed Changes to IDEA into a pdf file for easy printing and distribution.

We encourage you to read the Analysis of Proposed Changes to IDEA - this document will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of the bill before you share your concerns with your member of Congress.

Two articles about changes to IDEA:

If you would like view a sample letters, check out these two websites:

Phone, email, FAX a letter, etc.

Now is the time to call. You may call their local district office numbers or DC. You should also email them with your specific concerns if possible.

Please pass this information on to as many other parents and professionals as
you know.

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Last updated August 9, 2006
By Melody Orfei