Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded a total of 72 whopping guidance documents through the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services earlier this month, The Washington Post reported. On Sunday, three full weeks after the guidelines that were part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were long gone, the news broke that DeVos and the Trump Administration, which in September rescinded protections for victims of campus sexual assault, took further action in placing the most vulnerable Americans in harm's way.
In February, one of Donald Trump's first acts in office was to sign an executive order designed “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens,” which the education department has used to begin a review of all of its regulations, leading to the rolling back of protections for people with disabilities, according to The Washington Post.
The list of guidelines, some of which were written as far back as the '80s and ensured the education, equality, and security of people with disabilities, were written off by the administration for being “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.”
Chief Policy and Advocacy for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Leslie E. Jones was dismayed that DeVos pulled guidelines for how schools might use federal money for special education.
“All of these [guidelines] are meant to be very useful … in helping schools and parents understand and fill in with concrete examples the way the law is meant to work when it’s being implemented in various situations,” Jones told The Washington Post.
DeVos also rescinded many other guidelines and policy directives for the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which, according to the Department of Education, were meant to expand federal assistance to individuals with severe disabilities, helping them overcome obstacles to create “linkage between state vocational rehabilitation programs and workforce investment activities.”
Other DeVos cuts include President Barack Obama-era guidance that protected transgender students from using restrooms that correctly corresponds with their gender identity, as well as reversing policies on sexual assault.