Notice of Proposed Rule Change: Chapter 101, Maine Unified Special Education Regulations Birth to Age Twenty

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 64
POLICY CODE: GC

The Maine Department of Education is proposing several amendments to Maine Department of Education Reg. Chapter 101 to comply with recently enacted federal Part C (birth-to-2) regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • In Childfind (Section IV): the timeline for referral to a regional site after a child has been identified has changed from two days to “as soon as possible but no later than seven days”; new post referral procedures have been added; the definitions of initial evaluation and initial assessment have been added;, language has been added to reflect that, in the case of a child who is limited English proficient, “native language” means the language normally used by the parents of the child; and the steps to be taken when a child is determined not to be eligible have been added;
  • In the Individualized Plan Team Membership (Section VI): language has been added to clarify that the IFSP team must include the parent and two or more individuals from separate disciplines or professions with one of these individuals being the service coordinator; new timelines for the transition into Part B, Section 619 have been added;
  • In the Individualized Plans (Section IX): the parental consent requirements have been amended to reflect that the Department cannot use due process to challenge a parent’s refusal to provide consent; in the case of surrogates, a 30-day timeline requirement has been added to make reasonable efforts to ensure the assignment of a surrogate parent; a new requirement that the parent be provided, at no cost, a copy of each evaluation, assessment of the child, family assessment and the IFSP as soon as possible after each IFSP meeting has been added;
  • In Education Records (Section XIV): language has been added to clarify the timeline of notice for disclosing personally identifiable information and early intervention records; and
  • In Special Education Finance (Section XVIII): language has been added related to use of public benefits or insurance or private insurance to pay for Part C services.

In addition, references to pre-referral have been amended to use the term “general education.” These references were inadvertently omitted in the June 2011 final adoption.

The Department is initiating the public comment period today, October 31, 2011, and providing 30 days notice of the public hearing. The Secretary of State will post a public notice of rulemaking on November 9, 2011 in local papers. A public hearing will be held on December 1, 2011 from 10 to 11 a.m. in Room 500 of the Cross State Office Building in Augusta, Maine. The comment deadline is December 30, 2011 at 4 p.m.

The current rule and the proposed amendments are available online at: http://www.maine.gov/education/rulechanges.htm.

Comments may be submitted via email to jaci.holmes@maine.gov or via mail to Jaci Holmes, Federal State Legislative Liaison, Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0023.

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