Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NASDSE Logo and Masthead



October 6, 2018: Thank you to all of NASDSE's 80th Annual Conference and Business Meeting sponsors! Please click here to view our sponsors and their web pages.  


September 13, 2018: The conference hotel, Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District is SOLD OUT. We have reserved a limited amount of rooms at our overflow hotel, The Hilton Omaha. The Hilton Omaha is located next door (less than a five minute walk) at 1001 Case Street, Omaha, NE 68102.

Hotel reservations can be made at https://book.passkey.com/go/NOB18 or by calling 1-800-Hiltons. Please use the group code NOB and identify yourself as part of the NASDSE 80th Annual Conference and Business Meeting in order to qualify for the group rate.


August 8, 2018: Registration is open for NASDSE’s 80th Annual Conference and Business Meeting that will take place in Omaha, NE, beginning with pre-conference activities on October 5 and 6 and ending with a closing luncheon session on Tuesday, October 9th. Please click here to see the Registration Packet. You can click here to see the Conference Program.  


June 15, 2018: NASDSE joined with 50 other organizations this week calling on Congress to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When Congress first passed IDEA in 1975, it pledged to fund it at 40% of the average per student expenditure. Congress has never lived up to its promise and today IDEA is funded at less than 15 percent. To see the ad, click here.  


April 17, 2018: We have a new section on our Government Relations page that lists the various letters that NASDSE has written or endorsed on behalf of the state directors of special education this year. (click here to take you to the Government Relations page).  


February 9, 2018: NASDSE sent a letter to Secretary DeVos urging the Department NOT to postpone implementation of the significant disproportionality regulation. Read the letter here.   


February 6, 2018: Today NASDSE is releasing this statement in regards to the U.S. Department of Education indicating that it is considering postponing implementation of the regulation that was issued in December 2016 on identifying and remediating disproportionality in special education:

NASDSE recognizes and agrees with the overall concern related to disproportionality in special education. These concerns were behind the Department of Education's release of a regulation in December 2016 that laid out steps states were to take to identify and address this issue. NASDSE has learned that the Department of Education is postponing implementation of this regulation. States are moving forward to implement the regulation as it is currently written and NASDSE does not believe that implementation should be postponed from the current timeline contained in the regulation. At the same time, a number of states have questions/concerns regarding how the regulation addresses the calculation of disproportionality that we would like to see OSEP address. We hope that OSEP will work with NASDSE and the state directors of special education to address their concerns related to how disproportionality is calculated and identified so that true disproportionality can be addressed in meaningful ways.


February 4, 2018: NASDSE is pleased to share this update of case law on IDEA, the ADA and Section 504. Please click here to see this update.



The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) applauds the nomination of Johnny Collett to be the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services at the U.S. Department of Education.

Mr. Collett has a wealth of experience in working with children, youth and adults with disabilities and their families. He has worked with stakeholders in the disability community at the local, state and national levels and has gained a reputation for valuing their input through an authentic stakeholder process.

He previously served as the Director of Special Education at the Kentucky Department of Education. In that capacity, he also served on the Board of Directors of NASDSE. He has continued his work with the state directors of special education through his tenure with the National Center for Systemic Improvement where he is based at the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“NASDSE looks forward to continuing our collaboration with the Department of Education and working with Mr. Collett should he be confirmed for this important position as Assistant Secretary,” Bill East, NASDSE’s Executive Director, said in a statement.   


October 30, 2017: NASDSE welcomes our new Board of Directors for 2018:

President: Santina Thibedeau, Director of Special Education, New Hampshire Department of Education

Secretary-Treasurer: Bill Hussey, Director, Exceptional Children Division, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

President-Elect: Jamie Wong, Director of Special Education, Louisiana Department of Education

Past President: Glenna Gallo, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, Washington State Offfice of Superintendent of Public Instruction 


  • Barbara Guy, Director of Special Education, Iowa Department of Education
  • Steve Milliken, Director of Special Education, Nebraska Department of Education
  • Linda Turner, Director of Special Education Programs, South Dakota Department of Education
  • Monica Verra-Tirado, Director of Special Education, Florida Department of Education 


October 30, 2017: NASDSE Recognizes Special Education Leaders:

At our 79th Annual Conference, the following leaders in the special education community were recognized for their contributions to the fields of special education.

  • Martha J. Fields Award of Excellence: Presented to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Johnny Collett, Program Director for Standards, Assessment and Accountability, accepted the award on behalf of CCSSO.
  • R. Elwood Pace Humanitarian Award: Presented to Nancy Reder, NASDSE's Deputy Executive Director
  • Heritage Award: Presented to Gene Lenz who recently retired as the State Director of Special Education in Texas

For more information on NASDSE awards, click here


May 8, 2017: National Association of State Directors of Special Education Opposes House-Passed American Health Care Act: The National Association of State Directors (NASDSE) is deeply disappointed in the result of House of Representatives’ vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The passage of this bill, which restructures Medicaid and removes mandates of critical coverage for comprehensive essential health benefits, jeopardizes healthcare for the nation’s most vulnerable children, especially students with disabilities. The AHCA rescinds Medicaid’s 50+ year commitment to provide America’s children with access to vital healthcare services that ensure they have adequate educational opportunities and can contribute to society by imposing a per-capita cap and shifting current and future costs to taxpayers in every state and Congressional district. Moreover, a per capita cap, even one with various “buckets” for beneficiaries, will disproportionally harm children’s access to medical care, including services received at school.

School-based Medicaid programs serve as a lifeline to children who can’t access critical health care and health services outside of their school. Many schools use Medicaid to pay for the personnel, services, and equipment required to help students with disabilities. These funds supply wheelchairs, lifts, physical, speech and occupational therapies, and a multitude of other supports necessary to help students with disabilities thrive in the school setting, while meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The projected loss of $880 billion in federal Medicaid dollars will compel states to ration health care for children. School-based health services are required by IDEA and do not cease simply because Medicaid funds are capped by the AHCA. In other words, the cost of providing those services will be shifted to every school district in the country, in some cases requiring school districts to eliminate other programs and/or raising local taxes.

Our nation’s vulnerable youth deserve better. We urge the Senate to reject these harmful proposals in the AHCA and preserve the availability of comprehensive Medicaid services, including those provided at school.


Center for Online Learning and SWD: Check out the latest addition to our new page on resources for online learning. From the Center for Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: Report on the Online Teaching Standards and Teacher Certification Workgroup for Students with Disabilities. Click here to see the document or click the left side of this page and then click on Resources on Online Learning to view all of the resources that are posted.





Visit NASDSE's Other Websites!!

Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: www.centerononlinelearning.org

NASDSE's IDEA Partnership has two websites: www.ideapartnership.org and www.sharedwork.org

NASDSE'S Project Forum website, www.projectforum.org, has been taken down. All documents from the old Project Forum website are available on our website on the Project Forum Project page.


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