U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently rescinded 72 policy documents, some of which have been around for decades, that focus on the rights of students with disabilities. These documents were written to clarify students’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act.
This action can be linked back to an executive order made by President Trump “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.” According to a statement from the Department of Education, the rescinded documents were “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.”
Technically, both IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act are still in effect. However, civil rights groups have expressed concern that without these clarifying guidelines, the laws surrounding the rights of students with disabilities will be difficult to enforce.
Lindsay E. Jones, chief policy and advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, told the Washington Post that “All of these [policy documents] are meant to be very useful…in helping schools and parents understand and fill in with concrete examples the way the law is meant to work when it’s being implemented in various situations.”
Representative Robert C. Scott called these rescissions of disability-related documents “the latest in a series of disturbing actions taken by the Trump Administration to undermine civil rights for vulnerable Americans.”
To read a full list of the rescinded documents, and determine your own opinion, click here.