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Special Education Law

The Individuals Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law for special education. The IDEA requires that all students with a disability receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Michigan also has a state law, the Revised School Code, with additional requirements for special education.

The IDEA established two separate age segments for students with special needs. Part B refers to special education services for students ages 3 through 21. Part C refers to early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities from birth to age 3.

Michigan special education services extend from birth through age 25 (beyond the federal requirement of 21). Therefore, Michigan’s special education services and programs serve eligible students from birth through age 25.

The OSE also developed the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE), which further clarify how to implement and comply with special education law. The MARSE go through a process of public comment and approval from the state legislature before becoming final.​

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