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December 2, 2022: Special Education Day

WHEREAS, all young people, regardless of ability, have valuable strengths, infinite capacities to learn, and the potential to make important contributions to their local communities; and,

WHEREAS, we recognize the importance of accommodating all young people in unique ways that allow them to thrive in the classroom and achieve self-sufficiency; and,

WHEREAS, celebrating the abilities of students with individual differences, special needs, and disabilities enrich the communities of Michigan and enhance our diversity; and,

WHEREAS, celebrated nationally on December 2nd, Special Education Day is dedicated to commemorating the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that was signed into law on December 2, 1975, as well as the students, parents, advocates, teachers, and administration striving to make special education possible for all students; and,

WHEREAS, on December 2, 1971, Public Act 198 of 1971 was enacted establishing the Michigan Mandatory Special Education (MMSE) law, which we now celebrate on its 51st anniversary to require local school districts, including public school academies, to provide special education programs and services to any eligible student with a disability under 26 years of age, making our state a leader in the nation; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan residents can celebrate this day by thanking an educational staff member who works toward empowering all young people and their continued education; and,

WHEREAS, on this day, we encourage all residents to recognize the importance of accommodating students with individual differences, special needs, and disabilities, and we acknowledge that we must work together to ensure full inclusion and support for individual educational needs;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim December 2, 2022, as Special Education Day in Michigan.