Friday, October 20, 2017

NASDSE Logo and Masthead




Portland, Oregon is a wonderful place for state directors of special education, their staffs and their colleagues to gather for thoughtful learning and the sharing of best practices related to meeting the educational needs of all students -- especially, students with disabilities. This year’s conference theme, “Communicating, Collaborating and Cohesion in Changing Times” will provide special education leaders the opportunity to learn from each other and other educational leaders about addressing the critical issues they face with a focus on improving results for all students. We will continue to focus on student outcomes while education policies at the federal level are in flux as the new Administration sets priorities, implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) moves forward and Results-Driven Accountability initiatives continue to be implemented across the country. It’s not too late to register for what promises to be a most stimulating conference.

The Conference Agenda has been updated!! Click here for Registration information. Click here for Hotel Information.


July 13, 2017: NASDSE is pleased to announce that Perry Zirkel has updated his legal Q&A for hearing officers. This new report is dated June, 2017 so if you have an older version, you may want to download this update. For your convenience, updated material is highlighted. Click here to download the report.   


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.


April 26, 2017: 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.


April 6, 2017: We have created a new section on our website. Resources on Online Learning, to address the growing role of online learning in K-12 education. Click here to see What’s New on this Resource page.


January 20, 2017: For the past two years, NASDSE’s Board of Directors, with NASDSE member input, has been working on a set of principles for the reauthorization of IDEA. The Principles are now final. Please click here to review them. Your feedback is welcome – please send your comments to


January 13, 2017: NASDSE’s Board of Directors, with input from NASDSE members, including our 619 and data managers affinity groups, has developed Principles for the Reauthorization of IDEA. Please click here to view the Principles. NASDSE’s Board will be developing brief White Papers to explore each of these issues in greater depth.


December 28, 2016: At its December, 2016 meeting, the NASDSE Board adopted Government Relations priorities for 2017. Click here to see the list of priorities.


October 19, 2016: NASDSE President Announces New Priorities for 2016-17. At the installation and Awards ceremony at the conclusion of the NASDSE/CASE Joint Conference, newly installed NASDSE President Glenna Gallo announced her priorities for the upcoming year.


October 14, 2016: NASDSE recently concluded its first-ever joint annual conference with the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) in Milwaukee. At the meeting, new officers and a new board were elected to steer NASDSE in the coming year. NASDSE is pleased to announce its new board of directors for 2016-2017:

  • Glenna Gallo (UT) President
  • Bill Hussey (NC) Secretary-Treasurer
  • Santina Thibedeau (NH) President- Elect
  • John Eisenberg (VA) Past President
  • Barbara Guy (IA) Member-at -Large
  • Linda Turner (SD) Member-at-Large
  • Monica Verra-Tirado (FL) Member-at-Large
  • Jamie Wong (LA) Member-at-Large


October 1, 2016: NASDSE is pleased to announce a new publication, Surrogate Parents and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, jointly published by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and NASDSE. To view and download a copy of this publication, please click here.


March 9, 2016: Professor Perry Zirkel has recently updated his 2014 document, Impartial Hearings Under the IDEA: Legal Issues and Answers. You can find the updated document by clicking here.




Visit NASDSE's Other Websites!!

Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities:

NASDSE's IDEA Partnership has two websites: and

NASDSE'S Project Forum website,, 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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