In 2014 landmark legislation passed the Louisiana Legislature that will provide a pathway to promotion and graduation for certain students wtih disabilities. Act 833 (previously HB 1015), by Representative John Schroder and Senator Dan Claitor, establishes alternative pathways for grade promotion and graduation for students with disabilities who have not passed standardized tests. This shift in policy is a monumental departure from Louisiana being among the states with the most stringent and restrictive policies for grade promotion and graduation to Louisiana joining many states in recognizing the role a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) should have in determining student outcomes.
The effort to advocate for these changes was a collaborative approach by parents of children with disabilities, administrators of special education, and advocacy organizations. Together these groups sought a solution to the one-size approach to measuring student success, retention policies that prevented students from accessing higher levels of material, and exiting high school with a document indicating the skills and abilities they achieved. The La. D.D. Council, La. Association of Special Education Administrators, Families Helping Families Regional Resource Centers, LaTEACH and others remain committed to work together in creating resources to aid in the effective and proper implementation of Act 833 to ensure each student has the opportunity to maximize their potential and earn a diploma - a recognition for their achievements.
Rules will be promulgated to guide the implementation of Act 833. Stakeholders will continue advocating to ensure the rules reflect the intent and spirit of Act 833. To join in the advocacy efforts for this and other issues related to students with disabilties, click here to join LaTEACH.
BESE met on August 12 and 13, 2014 and approved initial policies revisions related to Act 833 that were aligned with DD Council recommendations and Act 833. Click the links be to read the Council analysis of the proposed policy revisions and recommendations to align policies with Act 833.
On August 13, 2014, BESE approved changes to multiple Bulletins (or rules) related to Act 833. The next step is for these policy revisions to go out on a Notice of Intent for public comment.
Revisions to Bulletin 1530 Louisiana’s IEP Handbook (passed out at BESE meeting on 8.12.14)
- Original LDE recommended revisions to Bulletin 1530 Louisiana’s IEP Handbook
- Revisions to Bulletin 111 The Louisiana School, District and State Accountability System
- Revisions to Bulletin 741 Louisiana Handbook for School Administration
- Revisions to Bulletin 118 Statewide Assessment Standards and Practices
- Revisions to Bulletin 1566 Pupil Progression Policies and Procedures
- Revisions to Bulletin 1530 Louisiana’s IEP Handbook (passed out at BESE meeting on 8.12.14)
- The BESE unofficial rule making docket
- Superintendent White response to Representative Schroder (9/5/14)
- Representative Schroder letter to Superintendent White (9/4/14)
- U.S. Department of Education response to Representative John Schroder (1/12/15)
- Representative John Schroder Letter to U.S. Department of Education (8/12/14)
- U.S. Department of Education (7/2/14)
- Letter sent to Superintendent White requesting consideration of recommendations for pathways to The Louisiana Diploma for all students with disabilities from collaboration of LaSEA, La, DD Council, FHF, LaPTIC, NFB, NOPBE, LOPBC, PDRIB and Autism Society of Acadiana (11/5/13)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Louisiana Department of Education
- Act 833 FAQ on Graduation and Promotion (October 2014)
- Special Education Updates for the 2014-2015 School Year, Frequently Asked Questions (amended August 18, 2014) with information on changes to assessments, promotion and graduation.
Act 833 addresses some of the issues created by how two major federal education laws differ in the goals and purposes educators are responsible to meet for students with disabilities. A great source to understand the mis-alignment and different purposes of federal education laws is the March 2014 report from the Congressional Research Service: The Education of Students with Disabilities: Alignment Between the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Graph illustrating how policies impact student exit outcomes: Graduation vs. Reading Rates of Students with Disabilities by State.
The purpose of the Act 833 Leadership Steering Committee will be to provide guidance and recommendations related to the implementation of alternative pathways for promotion and graduation requirements of certain students. Recommendations will include, but not limited to, policy changes, guidance documents, monitoring strategies and communications with the public that strive to maintain high expectations for all students and enable each student the opportunity to earn a high school diploma.
All meetings are open to the public and will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the following dates in the North Dakota Room (1-155) of the Claiborne Conference Center, 1201 North Third St., Baton Rouge, La 70802:
- September 3, 2014 Agenda Summary
- October 1, 2014 Agenda Summary
- November 12, 2014 Agenda Summary
- December 10, 2014 Agenda Summary
- January 7, 2015 Agenda Summary
- February 5, 2015 Agenda Summary
- March 4, 2015 CANCELED
- April 1, 2015 CANCELED
Additional meetings will be scheduled as necessary.
Louisiana Department of Education Webinar:
October 9 & 10, 2014
Louisiana Department of Education Webinar
September 29 & 30, 2014
|Introduction to Act 833 Powerpoint|
Panel Discussions (videos):
|Introduction to Act 833|
|Act 833 General Discussion: How and Why?|
|Special Education Supervisors Discuss Implementation Plans and Strategies|
|Why Act 833?|
The documents below were created by teams of educators and administrators in local school systems. Local school systems were required to implement Act 833 prior to policies and official guidance documents being finalized. Therefore, special education directors and supervisors from around the state developed documents necessary to guide the process for implementation. These efforts were done in good faith to ensure implementation based on the best interpretation of Act 833 in the absence of official policy and guidance. Official policies, i.e., revisions to Bulletins, take months due to the need for public comment on rule revisions. Documents below are listed as formal communications from the La. Department of Education or as unofficial drafts.
Student Eligibility and Determination Checklists - Unofficial Drafts
- High School Graduation Eligibility Criteria Form
- High School Graduation Eligibilitiy Criteria Form - Caddo Parish
Sample Language to Consider for IEPs - Unofficial Drafts
La. Department of Education Guidance on developing Student Learning Targets. This guidance is a great guide that directs teachers to prioritize content on standards, develop assessments that provide the best evidence of students' mastery and most importantly, set learning targets for students or minimum levels of performance expected from identified students based on their baseline data. Similar to what is required by Act 833, SLTs are based on whether students meet reasonably attainable and rigorous learning targets.
Other States' Policies and Guidelines:
Please submit questions to either:
Shawn Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org
Laureen Mayfield at email@example.comBack to Top