New Special Ed Rules Raise Concern

The Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning (CFL) has proposed significant changes to rules governing special education. The changes […]

The Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning (CFL) has proposed significant changes to rules governing special education. The changes affect the criteria that determines whether a child has a disability and is eligible for special education services, mediation, conciliation and extended school year (ESY), in addition to many other areas of the rule.

PACER Center, Arc Minnesota and the Minnesota Disability Law Center have recently finished analyzing the rules. They have major concerns with the department’s proposed changes to extended school year. They believe it will become even more difficult for children to qualify for ESY. Major changes were proposed to criteria for Other Health Impaired, Cognitive Impairments, and Emotional Behavioral Disorders. Conciliation was lumped together with mediation, creating unreasonable timelines for mediation and changing the nature of conciliation.

A hearing was held on January 22nd at which many people voiced their concerns about a lack of notice for families. In response to this concern, the department has decided to start the process over. The department will republish the rules and will use press releases and mailings in an attempt to futher notify families and others about the proposed changes. It is expected that the new hearing will take place in the spring. All comments that were submitted will be placed in the record for the new hearing.

Families are encouraged to contact Kristen Asche at the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning for a copy of the proposed rule (651-582-8248) and to contact one of the three organizations listed above for information on how the rule changes will affect children with
disabilities.

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