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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO: 7

 

POLICY CODE:  IHBA

 

TO:                  Superintendents

                        Directors of Special Education

                        Principals

                        Superintendents of State Correctional Facilities          

 

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron

                        Commissioner

 

DATE:             July 30, 2003

 

SUBJECT:       Federal IDEA Requirements Not Fully Addressed in Ch. 101, Maine Special Education Regulations.

 

After lengthy negotiations with the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, the Maine Department of Education has agreed that there are a number of requirements included in the rules and regulations governing the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which are not fully addressed in Ch. 101, “Maine Special Education Regulations”.  We have also agreed that it does not make sense to engage in major rulemaking at this time to address these requirements, given that the IDEA is in the process of reauthorization during this session of Congress and there will be additional changes we would need to address.

 

Therefore, we are using this Administrative Letter to advise you of those areas which are not fully addressed, but that we are incorporating in Maine’s IDEA Part B eligibility documents.  All Maine School Administrative Units must comply with these requirements.  The attached memo of July 30, 2003, to Samara Goodman provides the Federal Register section of each requirement and either a verbatim statement from the Federal Register or a modification of the Federal requirement to make it specific to Maine.  Where only portions of a requirement were not fully addressed in our own regulations, the required additional language has been underlined.

 

Finally, please note that in Ch. 101, SUMMARY, the statement summarizing the content of Ch. 101 incorrectly identifies the age of eligibility as being “between the ages of 5 and 20.”  The correct age of eligibility is included in Ch. 101 in the general definition found at Sec. 3.1, sub-Section A. and B.  (“Has reached the age of 5 years on or before October 15; [and] Has neither graduated from a secondary school program with a regular high school diploma nor reached 20 years at the start of the school year;….”)  School year is defined at Sec. 2.20 to be “…the period from July 1 through June 30 of the next calendar year.”   This is the requirement with which you must comply, such that if a student turns 20 within the school year, services must continue through the end of the school year as defined in Section 2.20.   This error in the summary will be corrected during the next rulemaking process.

 

Should you have any questions regarding any of the requirements described in this letter, contact David Stockford or any of the staff of the Special Services Team who have specific responsibility for implementation of these areas.  The telephone number for the team is 624-6650.  Staff who may be contacted for further information are:

 

David Stockford, Director

John Kierstead, Federal Programs

Christine Bartlett, Private Schools, State Agency Clients and Surrogate Parents

Pam Rosen, CSPD

Pauline Lamontagne, Due Process

Susan Parks, Due Process

Susan Pettingill, Due Process