NYS-TEACHS › Info by Topic: Special Education

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Special Education

Resources | Laws and Guidance

Special education offers instruction that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, at no cost to parents. The McKinney-Vento Act, together with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) works to ensure that the needs of homeless students with special needs are met. Find helpful resources regarding the rights of students experiencing homelessness who have special needs. Click on the links below to learn more about special education.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Find answers to commonly asked questions about special education for students in temporary housing situations.


Surrogate Parents and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [PDF]

This document was created by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) to help school districts ensure that unaccompanied youth who are homeless and who have disabilities are able to access special education services.

School Help for Homeless Children with Disabilities: Information for Parents [PDF]

This document was created by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) to provide information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and how it can help students who are homeless with special needs.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Issue Brief [PDF]

For more information about the relationship between the McKinney-Vento Act and IDEA, review this document to learn how these two laws work together to serve students experiencing homelessness who also require special education services.

Special Education Glossary [Word doc]

The special education vocabulary contains many unique terms and abbreviations. Feel free to review this guide each time you encounter a new term.

New York State Education Department Sample Complaint Form [PDF]

This model form, which includes the elements required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), may be used to submit a complaint to the New York State Education Department (SED). Parents, individuals, or organizations may use this form if they believe a school district or public agency has violated a requirement of Part B of IDEA or New York State laws or regulations related to students with special needs.

Parent Training and Information Centers [PDF]

This is a list of federally and state-funded parent centers throughout New York State. The centers provide information and trainings to parents about special education issues. Some also provide advocacy and case management services.

Laws and Guidance

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 [PDF]

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is federal legislation that addresses the public education of children and youth with special needs.

US Department of Education IDEA Regulations [PDF]

Up-to-date regulations put out by US Department of Education regarding IDEA.

2009 New York State Law, Regulations and Policy from VESID

2009 New York State Law, Regulations and Policy that supplement the protections of the federal law/regulation/policy regarding IDEA.


Upcoming Workshops and Trainings

04/24/17 McKinney-Vento Training at Greater Southern Tier BOCES

04/25/17 McKinney-Vento Training at OCM BOCES

04/27/17 McKinney-Vento Training at Champlain Valley Educational Services

04/28/17 McKinney-Vento Training at WSWHE BOCES

Upcoming Webinars

04/25/17 Funding & Reimbursement (All Audiences)

04/27/17 Determining Eligibility (All Audiences)

Schedule for Winter/Spring 2017 Webinar Series

Recorded Webinars and Materials

More dates, information and registration

Workshops and Training Materials

Training and Workshop Materials