Responsibility for FAPE for deaf or hard-of-hearing students

Under Public Law 2013, Chapter 552 (formerly LD 1769) An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Report Defining Cost Responsibility for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Students Receiving Services from the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, beginning July 1, 2015

  • The resident school administrative unit (SAU) of a deaf or hard-of-hearing student is responsible for providing FAPE (free appropriate public education) for that student under IDEA;
  • If the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team at the resident SAU determines that the student should be placed at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MECDHH), the tuition and certain related costs for that student will be funded out of the MECDHH budget; those related costs include the costs of related services as listed in the enacted law referenced above. Remaining costs for those students attending the center school or one of the satellite school programs operated by the MECDHH will be funded by the SAU in which the student resides; and
  • If a student is placed in a residential program in the center school or in a satellite program operated by the MECDHH, the MECDHH will pay the room and board costs for that student through funds appropriated by the State.

As noted above, this statutory change goes into effect on July 1 of next year (2015).  It clarifies FAPE responsibility in a way that is consistent with federal law.

Please contact Maine DOE’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov or 207-624-6676 if you have questions.