Special Education Resources

COMAR — Searchable Code of Maryland Regulations, Chapter 13A

Special Education Rights — A Handbook for Maryland Families and Professionals, Disability Rights Maryland

Wrightslaw — Free Online Resource for Special Education Laws

MANSEF — The Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities 

COPAA — Counsel of Parent Attorneys and Advocates

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The MSDE guidance clearly says that while parental "consent" is not required, there should be an "agreement" between parents and districts (similarly, annual IEP reviews in Maryland are done by "agreement" and not "consent"). This plan should be based an individualized determination. It is not acceptable for districts to say that they are reducing services by 50% across the board for all students, for example. Parents can request changes to plans suggested by the district. More information here.

The Department of Education specifically mentions speech language services as something that could be provided effectively through video conferencing. Other related special education services can similarly be provided in alternative methods, where possible and safe during school closures related to Coronavirus. More information here.

Progress monitoring starts with good IEP goals. Do you understand how data will be collected on each of your child’s IEP goals? Schools are obligated to provide you with data to show whether your child is making progress four times per year.

No. When a parent believes that their child might have a disability and asks the school to consider this concern and special education eligibility, the school is obligated to bring a team of people together to consider whether the child needs to be evaluated formally. No one (or two or three) people can decide this outside of a formal IEP meeting.

Yes and No. Children with disabilities can be suspended for behaviors that are related to their disability up to a certain point, but it is not good practice, it indicates that something is not quite right with the program, and it’s usually not fair or helpful for the child. A child with a disability can not be suspended more than 10 days (in a school year) for behaviors that are a "manifestation" of their disability, and a meeting must be held to determine "manifestation."

No. The US Department of Education recognizes that these are "exceptional circumstances that may affect how all educational related services and supports are provided during school closures, and the Department will offer flexibility where possible."

No. The MSDE guidance clearly says that while parental "consent" is not required, there should be an "agreement" between parents and districts (similarly, annual IEP reviews in Maryland are done by "agreement" and not "consent"). This plan should be individualized. Parents can request changes to plans suggested by the district.

The Department of Education specifically mentions speech language services as something that could be provided effectively through video conferencing. Other related special education services can similarly be provided in alternative methods, where possible and safe during school closures related to Coronavirus.