IDEA 2004

NASET's pages are designed to put you in contact with information that's readily available on the Internet. We're pleased to offer this particular resource page to connect you with sources of information on our nation's special education law, the IDEA 2004. We'll be continually adding to it, as new resources emerge.

The topics listed are individual websites that can be accessed only by members of The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET).  If you are not a member of NASET, and would like to join, click here to register. Members of NASET, please log in above (member login and password) to activate these, and all other websites, in our database.

Table of Contents:  

The Law Itself

Final Regulations

From the Feds

General Summaries

The Law Itself

The "slip law" is the Public Law (P.L.) print of P.L. 108-446, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. It's available in PDF format and is 162 pages long.


And a text-only version of the law:

Final Regulations

Some time after passage of the statute come the federal regulations--in this case, on August 3, 2006. That's when Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the release of final federal regulations for IDEA 2004. Publication of these regulations in the Federal Register occurred on August 14, 2006. T

The final regulations will guide implementation of the law in the United States and are the standard upon which state policies and rules must be based. (States may go beyond what federal regulations require, but their policies and rules must, at a minimum, be consistent with the federal regulations.)

A PDF version of the federal regulations, as posted in the Federal Register, August 14, 2006. 


Text-only version of the regs. 

A tad more complicated! At the link above, enter "34 CFR Parts 300 and 301" in the appropriate SEARCH box for 2006,* and the system will lead you to a text-only version of the regs published on August 14th. (Be prepared for multiple files here, cos the text-only version divides the regs up by sections and page numbers...)

To top

From the Feds

From OSERS and OSEP:


For authoritative input on the law, we look to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), within the Department of Education. These are the agencies within the federal government responsible for overseeing IDEA's implementation.

OSERS and OSEP have made a series of short summaries available on changes from the IDEA 97 to IDEA 2004. The topics are listed below.

  • Alignment with the No Child Left Behind Act
  • Changes in Initial Evaluations and Reevaluations
  • Children Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools
  • Discipline
  • Disproportionality and Overidentification
  • Early Intervening Services
  • Highly Qualified Teachers
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Meetings and Changes to the IEP
  • Local Funding
  • Part C Option: Age 3 to Kindergarten Age
  • I. Procedural Safeguards Regarding Surrogates, Notice and Consent
  • II. Procedural Safeguards Regarding Mediation and Resolution Sessions
  • III. Procedural Safeguards Regarding Due Process Hearings
  • Secondary Transition
  • State Funding


Statewide and Districtwide Assessments

OSEP's Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities
The Tool Kit brings together the most current and accurate information, including research briefs and resources designed to improve instruction, assessment, and accountability for students with disabilities in a format that is easy to access and to understand. New resources will be added to the Tool Kit on an ongoing basis, bringing up-to-date guidance to educators so that students with disabilities can receive quality instruction, meet high expectations and achieve positive outcomes.


From the Congress...

IDEA: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions discusses key definitions, new provisions with respect to highly qualified teachers, funding, private schools, charter schools, new state policies, IEPs, procedural safeguards, discipline, and monitoring and enforcement.


Issues page, which provides links to such documents as: the Bipartisan House-Senate Conference Report on H.R. 1350; a summary of the bill; and four fact sheets on the bill, entitled (1) Special Education Reform: Supporting Teachers & Schools, Providing New Choices for Parents & Students; (2) Making Special Education Stronger for Students & Parents; (3) Reducing Unnecessary Lawsuits and Litigation in Special Education; and (4) Building on Historic Funding Increases for Special Education.

To top

General Summaries

It goes without saying, or surprise, that reauthorization of a law of IDEA's incredible power would generate a multitude of comments, analyses, and summaries. What's new? What's different? What's the same? Here is a long list of what has already hit the streets for all of us to use to understand the new law's requirements.

IDEA 2004: Overview, Explanation & Comparison.
Courtesy of Wrightslaw, this 56-page article describes the substantive changes to the five key statutes of IDEA 2004 by section and subsection. Text added to IDEA 2004 is in italics. Text deleted from IDEA 97 has been struck through.

IDEA: Analysis of Change Made by P.L. 108-446.
The Congressional Research Service, the part of the Library of Congress that serves as the research arm of Congress, has published an 47-page analysis of the new IDEA law.

A User's Guide.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) offers this 63-page guide on additions and deletions to IDEA brought about by the 2004 reauthorization and includes relevant information from the Conference Report, which articulates Congressional intent.

More from Wrightslaw.
Wrightslaw also makes available a number of other articles on IDEA 2004, including How Will IEPs Change Under IDEA 2004?; IDEA 2004: IEP Team Members & IEP Team Attendance; Requirements for Highly Qualified Special Ed Teachers, and Transition Services for Education, Work, Independent Living.

And from the Thompson Publishing Group...
IDEA: New Expectations for Schools and Students is hot off the press at Thompson. For a mere $149 introductory offer (with discounts for multiple copies), this book is designed as a tool for educators, administrators, school attorneys, school board members, and parents seeking to understand and implement the new law.

Summary of the 2004 IDEA.
Courtesy of the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), this summary looks at the IEP process, due process, and discipline.

Summary of the new law.
Courtesy of the National Committee of Parents and Advocates Organized to Protect IDEA.

CEC's summary.
Courtesy of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Let's go section by section.
Courtesy of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), take a look at the Comparison of H.R. 1350 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004) and IDEA ‘97. You can download the entire comparison in PDF, or look at individual comparisons of Parts A, B, C, or D of the law and the new provisions for the National Center for Special Education Research.

A side-by-side analysis of transition requirements.
Courtesy of NCSET, the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. The side-by-side analysis identifies major changes between IDEA 1997 and H.R. 1350 (IDEA 2004) concerning transition services for youth with disabilities.

And 200 pages from NASDSE.
NASDSE, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, offers a 200-page side-by-side that compares current law to the amended law signed by President Bush on December 3rd. Individual copies are $15 each; bulk orders of 100 copies or more receive a 15% discount. To order your copy, send a check or purchase order to NASDSE, 1800 Diagonal Road., Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314, Attention: C. Burgman. The document is not available in electronic format.

To top

NASET would like to thank National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) for providing the information contained on this page.

lost password?