PUBLIC COMMENT: Filing of Targeted Revisions to Rule Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Rule (MUSER)

Public Law 2023, Chapter 450 amends 20-A MRSA §7001, 7002, 7258, and 8305 to amend the upper age limit to under 22 years of age, changes hearing impairment to deafness, including hearing loss, changes serious emotional disturbance to emotional disability, and changes deafness and blindness to deaf-blindness. Public Law 2023, Chapter 450 also amends outdated language by changing the term pupil evaluation to individualized education program. These changes are now reflected in the revised MUSER.

With respect to the change initially made by emergency rule, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) determined that the funding structure previously outlined in Section XVIII.3.C(2) of MUSER for private schools that serve exclusively students with disabilities (“special purpose private schools”) was causing those schools to limit or cease operations, leaving some of Maine’s most significantly impacted children without the educational placements they are entitled to by law. Further breakdown of this critical component of the continuum of educational placements would leave the State unable to maintain compliance with IDEA and MUSER. This problem was initially resolved with the emergency rule filing of July 7, 2023. The Department seeks to make the change permanent in this rulemaking process.

This amendment makes those changes and no others.

As required by law, a period of public comment opens October 25, 2023 through November 27, 2023. Written comments may be submitted to Maine DOE Rulemaking Liaison Laura Cyr, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine 04333; 207-446-8791 or until 5:00 pm November 27, 2023. For documentation purposes, written comments are preferred.

In addition, a public hearing for the revised Rule Chapter 101 will be held in person and virtually on November 17, 2023, from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Burton Cross Office Building, located at 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine 04333, Room 103. As space will be limited, participants are encouraged to attend virtually through Zoom, using this link:

Topic: Rule Chapter 101 Public Hearing
Time: November 17, 2023, 3:00 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 823 5264 8387
Passcode: 56401141

Timeline for Rulemaking for Rule Chapter 101 – Major Substantive

  • File: October 17, 2023
  • Post: October 25, 2023
  • Comment Period End: November 27, 2023

The revised Rule Chapter 101 can be found here.

You may also submit comments to the following location: CH 101 Form

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING (include name, mailing address, telephone, fax, TTY, email):

Laura Cyr,, 446-8791