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Laws and Regulations

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal civil rights law that ensures eligible children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Each state must follow the IDEA, and may also create additional laws and rules. In Michigan, those rules are the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE).

Federal Laws and Regulations

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The IDEA statutes and regulations are on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Procedural Safeguards Notice (PDF)
The procedural safeguards outlined in the IDEA protect the rights of parents and students. Each state must create a procedural safeguards notice for parents. The document is available in other languages in the Notice and Consent section of the website.

Implementing Regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Michigan Laws and Rules

Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) (PDF)
The MARSE outlines specific requirements regarding how special education is to be implemented in Michigan.

Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) With Related IDEA Federal Regulations (PDF)
Michigan rules are aligned to federal regulations. This document contains the Michigan rules and relevant federal regulations.

Michigan School Code – PA 451 of 1976
The state education law includes specific special education provisions.

Policies

Policy documents provide information to help interpret and implement the law. The documents are not laws or regulations.

Emergency Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint (PDF)
The Michigan State Board of Education adopted a policy for schools to comply with the state law that restricts the use of seclusion and restraint in schools.

Emergency Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Seclusion and Restraint Documentation Form (PDF)
Schools must document each use of seclusion and restraint.

Seclusion and Restraint Debriefing Form (PDF)
After each use of seclusion and restraint, schools must hold a debriefing meeting with parents and complete this form.

Michigan Criteria for Determining the Existence of a Specific Learning Disability (PDF)
The criteria describe the state-approved options districts can use to evaluate a student for a specific learning disability.

Standards for Extended School Year Services in Michigan (PDF)
The Michigan State Board of Education adopted these standards to outline what must be considered when determining if extended school year services are necessary.

Guidance for Extended School Year Services (PDF)
Individualized education program (IEP) teams must determine if extended school year services are necessary.

Providing Homebound and Hospitalized Educational Services for Michigan Public School Pupils (PDF)
The State School Aid Act requires school districts to provide services to students who are homebound or hospitalized, including special education services for eligible students.

Policy for the Appointment of Surrogate Parents for Special Education Services (PDF)
The State Board of Education adopted a policy for appointing surrogate parents to comply with the IDEA. The IDEA requires that states ensure students without a parent or guardian, as defined in the IDEA, have a surrogate parent to make educational decisions for the student.

Surrogate Parents and Special Education Decision-Making Guidance (PDF)
Public agencies must select and train surrogate parents in compliance with the IDEA.

Research Tool

The Michigan Special Education Reference (MI-SER) provides access to federal and state special education law and policy information and resources. The database includes a comprehensive search tool.

Link to Michigan Special Education Reference