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TO:         Superintendents of Schools, Special Education Directors, CDS Site Directors, MADSEC, Maine Parent Federation, Disability Rights Center

FROM:   Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:    April 5, 2006

RE:         Clarification of the Parts of the Maine Special Education Regulations that Continue to be in Effect in Light of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004.


            In May, 2005, Administrative Letter #32 (May 31, 2005) described what is necessary to comply with the recently enacted federal Special Education statute,  Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEIA 2004), which went into effect Friday, July 1, 2005, and with the current Maine Special Education Regulations (MSER), Chapter 101. It has become apparent, in light of interpretations of the IDEIA 2004 and MSER, that further guidance from the Department to school administrative units (SAUs) and CDS intermediate educational units is necessary. It is the position of the Department of Education that the components of the Maine Special Education Regulations described below must be followed until such time as rule-making takes place to align Maine’s current Chapter 101 and Chapter 180 with the federal IDEIA statue. The Maine Department of Education will issue further Informational Letters if there continues to be a need for clarification or if further guidance is obtained from the federal Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. These letters will contain “IDEIA 2004” in the subject line.

            Each PET or ECT meeting must still be held in accordance with the following Sections of Chapter 101 and Chapter 180. These specific areas are pointed out, given recent misunderstandings regarding which law to follow. Singling out these areas specifically does not negate the necessity for each SAU or CDS site to implement the new federal statutory provisions, as well as all areas of Chapter 101 and Chapter 180 which exceed or enhance the federal statutory language.

            If you have further questions about the IDEIA 2004 and/or MSER, please contact the MDOE Special Services Team at 624-6650 or .