The Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services would like to clarify the IEP Team’s responsibility as it relates to the educational placement of a child with a disability. As outlined in (MUSER X.2.B.), in determining the educational placement of a child with a disability, including a preschool child with a disability, each SAU must ensure that:
- the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including the parents, and other persons knowledgeable about the child and, the placement options; and is made in conformity with the LRE provisions of this rule;
- The child’s placement is determined at least annually; is based on the child’s IEP, and is as close as possible to the child’s home;
- Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if non-disabled;
- In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs; and
- A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum. [34 CFR 300.116]
It is important to note that these responsibilities do not provide the IEP Team with the authority to make, encourage, or recommend placements outside of the SAU’s continuum of services. This includes placements within another SAU and enrollment at public charter schools. Enrolling in a public charter school is a parent decision, and it is at the parent’s discretion if enrolling in a public charter school is in the best interest of the child.
For any questions about the educational placement of a child with a disability, contact Roberta Lucas at Roberta.Lucas@maine.gov or 207-624-6621.
For any questions about enrollment in a public charter school, contact the Maine Charter School Commission at MCSC@maine.gov or 207-624-6729.