PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions to Rule Chapter 101 (Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty); Public Hearing on November 13, 2018

This notice is one of four priority notices being sent to district and school administrators, including special education directors, on 10/24/18 regarding proposed major substantive rules that have been filed with the Secretary of the State of Maine on this day (Rule Chapters: 101, 115, 122 and 132). Please share this notice with all interested parties.

The Maine Department of Education is proposing amendments to Rule Chapter 101 Maine Unified Special Education Regulations, Birth to Twenty. The proposed substantive changes are as follows:

  • Transfers responsibility for state agency clients from the SAU where the residential placement is located to the school administrative unit (SAU) where the parents reside;
  • Clarifies that when Education in Unorganized Territory (EUT) tuitions a student with disabilities to an SAU, in the absence of written authorization from the Superintendent of EUT, the receiving SAU shall have authority to commit resources;
  • Provides that parents who have obtained independent evaluations should provide those assessments to the SAU at least 3 days in advance of the IEP Team meeting;
  • Provides that SAUs are responsible for evaluating kindergarten-eligible children who are referred to Child Development Services (CDS) after April 1 of each year;
  • Provides that when a child has an abbreviated school day because of the child’s educational needs, the IEP Team must convene every 45 calendar days (currently every 20 school days);
  • Removes Asperger’s Syndrome from the definition of Autism in order to match current medical definitions;
  • Removes Section VIII, FAPE for Five-Year-Olds by IEP Team, which currently allows kindergarten-eligible children with disabilities to remain the responsibility of CDS instead of transitioning to public kindergarten;
  • Changes the requirements for highly qualified teachers to be consistent with federal requirements that have reverted to IDEA. The proposal retains the previous definition of highly qualified in 34 CFR 300.18 and addresses alternate routes to special education teacher certification;
  • Makes clear that vision services and definitions provided for 3- 20-year-olds are the same as those provided for 0- 2-year-olds;
  • Clarifies and revises various aspects of due process procedures; and
  • Provides that each SAU must singly or in collaboration with other SAUs contract for the services of a certified special education administrator for a minimum of three hours per month.

Non-substantive changes are proposed as follows;

  • Corrects typographical/spelling errors throughout the document;
  • Clarifies that a school year begins on July 1 and ends June 30 of every year;
  • Removes the reference to the date for implementation of general education interventions;
  • Removes references to specific magnet schools;
  • Removes the specific names of Maine Department of Education forms;
  • Replaces the term ‘native language” with “primary language”;
  • Requires documentation of age of majority notification in the written notice;
  • Clarifies that consultation services are a special education service when provided by a special education teacher, or by a speech language pathologist when speech language is the primary disability. Consultation is a related service only when provided by other providers, such as occupational therapists or physical therapists, or by a speech/language clinician or pathologist to a child whose disability category is not speech or language impairment;
  • Requires that invoices to the Department for special education for state wards and state agency clients must be timely;
  • Refines the definition of family training and counseling for infants and toddlers
  • Excludes children awaiting foster care from the definition of homeless;
  • Replaces the term English proficient with “English learner”;
  • Removes the term scientifically-based interventions; and
  • Clarifies the definition of parent to include the definition in IDEA Part C.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 101 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 101
November 13, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Room 103A of the Burton Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street Augusta, ME. People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in and, preferably, provide two written copies of their comments. Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments.

Comment Period Deadline: December 3, 2018

Comments can be sent to the Department’s Director of Special Services, Janice Breton, at