Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 111 Part 1.djvu/72

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Ill STAT. 48 PUBLIC LAW 105-17-JUNE 4, 1997 Act, as embodied in regulations in effect on July 20, 1983 (particularly as such protections relate to parental consent to initial evaluation or initial placement in special education, least restrictive environment, related services, timelines, attendance of evaluation personnel at individualized education program meetings, or qualifications of personnel), except to the extent that such regulation reflects the clear and unequivocal intent of the Congress in legislation. "(c) POLICY LETTERS AND STATEMENTS.—The Secretary may not, through policy letters or other statements, establish a rule that is required for compliance with, and eligibility under, this part without following the requirements of section 553 of title 5, United States Code. "(d) CORRESPONDENCE FROM DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DESCRIBING INTERPRETATIONS OF THIS PART. — Federal Register, "(1) IN GENERAL.— The Secretary shall, on a quarterly basis, publication. publish in the Federal Register, and widely disseminate to interested entities through various additional forms of communication, a list of correspondence from the Department of Education received by individuals during the previous quarter that describes the interpretations of the Department of Education of this Act or the regulations implemented pursuant to this Act. "(2) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.—For each item of correspondence published in a list under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall identify the topic addressed by the correspondence and shall include such other summary information as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. "(e) ISSUES OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE. — If the Secretary receives a written request regarding a policy, question, or interpretation under part B of this Act, and determines that it raises an issue of general interest or applicability of national significance to the implementation of part B, the Secretary shall— "(1) include a statement to that effect in any written response; "(2) widely disseminate that response to State educational agencies, local educational agencies, parent and advocacy organizations, and other interested organizations, subject to applicable laws relating to confidentiality of information; and "(3) not later than one year after the date on which the Secretary responds to the written request, issue written guidance on such policy, question, or interpretation through such means as the Secretary determines to be appropriate and consistent with law, such as a policy memorandum, notice of interpretation, or notice of proposed rulemaking. "(f) EXPLANATION.— Any written response by the Secretary under subsection (e) regarding a policy, question, or interpretation under part B of this Act shall include an explanation that the written response— "(1) is provided as informal guidance and is not legally binding; and "(2) represents the interpretation by the Department of Education of the applicable statutory or regulatory requirements in the context of the specific facts presented.