December 2004




District Superintendents

Superintendents of Schools 

Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools 

Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools 

Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education 

Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services 

SETRC Project Directors and Professional Development Specialists 

Independent Living Centers


Rebecca H. Cort  


Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 PDF PDF Document (54KB)


The President signed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act on December 3, 2004.  In many key areas, the proposed changes in federal law strengthen, support and are in alignment with our current State and local efforts to improve education results for students with disabilities. This bill, which reauthorizes the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and amends other Acts, includes landmark changes to: 

        Most of the 2004 IDEA amendments in Parts A, B and C and subpart 1 of Part D become effective on July 1, 2005.  The highly qualified teacher provisions and subparts 2, 3 and 4 of Part D became effective upon enactment of the bill on December 3, 2004.  Federal regulations to implement IDEA must be completed within 12 months of enactment, and New York State must align its own laws and regulations governing special education. 


        We will continue to provide updated information on the Department’s web site at as to the status of this bill and implementation actions by the Department.  Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to the Special Education Policy and Partnerships Unit at 518-473-2878.