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DOE Rule Chapter 33
Review and Revision Project


The CBR Team

Meetings, Agenda, Handouts, Minutes


What is consensus based rule development?


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Department of Education regulation Chapter 33 governs timeout rooms, therapeutic restraints, and aversives in public schools and approved private schools.  05-071 CMR Ch. 33:

The Department has proposed revisions to Chapter 33 following the work of the Chapter 33 Consensus-Based Rule Development Group.

The Department decided to review the rule following the introduction of a bill in December 2009 to modify Maine Revised Statutes Title 20-A § 4009 in an effort to distinguish restraints covered by the statute from the restraints covered by Ch. 33.  In the course of the discussions regarding that proposed enactment, it was decided that the regulation needed to be reviewed in its entirety, and that there was a need for the Department to give notice of dangerous restraints that block the airway.  An Administrative Letter was considered suitable to address the immediate need to warn against the dangerous restraints.  Administrative Letter No. 3 disseminated in July 2009 was amended in July 2010 by Administrative Letter No. 8

Department staff who developed the Administrative Letter, as well as other department staff who later joined for their expertise, continued to meet to review the regulation and to suggest stakeholders to the Commissioner who might contribute ideas about the regulation.  The Commissioner designated the internal Ch. 33 Review Committee for this work, and a list of stakeholders was proposed to and named by the Commissioner.

At the first meeting of the stakeholders, it became apparent that consensus-based rulemaking (CBR) was preferred by most stakeholders.  Accordingly, a description of a form of CBR was proposed to and accepted by the Commissioner.

The schedule of meetings of the CBR Team, the agenda, handouts, minutes of the meetings, ground rules, and working drafts of the tentative proposed rule containing footnotes and analysis of the decisions reached by the participants, including the extent to which consensus is reached, will be posted on line at: Meetings, Agenda, Handouts, Minutes, Etc., as the information becomes available.

A history of the rule and the statute, as well as a more detailed current history is presented in:  A history of Chapter 33.

Questions and comments on the organization and content of this website may be directed to

Arthur J. Keenan, Esq.
Certification Legal Consultant
Maine Department of Education
SHS 23 Augusta Me 04333-0023

Telephone: 207-624-6859