Individuals With Disabilities Act
Congress approved final legislation to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on November 19, 2004. President Bush signed the bill into law on December 3, 2004. The amendments related to the definition of “highly qualified” special education teachers take effect on December 3, 2005, with the rest of the amendments going into effect on the earlier date of July 1, 2005.
A User’s Guide to the 2004 IDEA Reauthorization (P.L. 108-446 and the Conference Report) [PDF Format]
” The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.”
A Note about Occupational Therapists in relation to the highly qualified teachers provisions:
“Both IDEA and NCLB contain very extensive language about “highly qualified” (HQ) special and general education teachers. Separate language in IDEA addresses related services qualifications (see Sec. 612(a)(14)). The HQ requirement DOES NOT apply to occupational therapists UNLESS they are responsible for teaching a “core academic subject” (also defined in Section 602). Core academic subjects are math, science, geography, language arts, etc. So, if, for example, your state has designated OT as the specially designed instruction, rather than a related service, AND/OR you are responsible for teaching one of the above academic subjects you would have to meet the HQ requirement.”
from Leslie Jackson, on the AOTA School List Serve, May 11, 2005