To provide responsive leadership to support schools and families and to protect the rights of all students.
We serve the education system with professional integrity by:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Assessing and investigating allegations of student maltreatment.
- Facilitating the resolution of special education disputes and other student issues.
- Advocating and demonstrating best practices for the use of special education funds.
- Training and guiding special education leadership through the monitoring process to ensure compliance.
The IDEA guarantees the special education rights of more than 125,000 Minnesota students with disabilities. As required by the IDEA, the division provides general program oversight to districts and administers the mediation, complaint, and hearing systems.
Mediation is an informal, voluntary process during which an impartial mediator helps parents and schools work toward a solution to a disagreement about a student’s special education program. For more information about mediation or facilitated individualized education program (IEP) meetings, see the Alternative Dispute Resolution page.
Special Education Complaints
A written complaint may be filed if it is believed that a district has violated federal or state special education requirements. Read more about filing a special education complaint.
Special Education Hearings
The IDEA provides for due process hearings to resolve disputes relating to the identification, evaluation, placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to a child with a disability and certain discipline matters. See the Special Education Hearings page.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
The requirements of the federal ESEA, currently authorized as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), fall under this division's monitoring responsibilities.
Section 504-Civil Rights
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights statute that protects a student with a disability from discrimination. The Section 504 page includes the Section 504 Compliance Manual, forms, and more.
The program monitoring unit provides training and oversight of special education programs through monitoring to ensure compliance with federal and state law. The fiscal monitoring unit provides training and oversight of special education funds through monitoring to ensure compliance. See the Monitoring page for more.
Maltreatment of Minors Reporting
This unit investigates reports of alleged physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse of children that occur in Minnesota public schools by school employees. See the Student Maltreatment page.
Pupil Fair Dismissal Act
When a student is removed from school for disciplinary reasons, the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act assures certain student rights. See the Student Discipline and Truancy page.
2014 Part B Annual State Application
The 2014 Part B Annual State Application includes statements of assurances for Minnesota’s program for children with disabilities and proposed descriptions for the use of federal grant funds. The application is posted below.
The Minnesota Department of Education is required to publish the FFY 2014 Part B Application before submitting it to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The plan must be publicly available throughout the state for at least a 60-day period, with a minimum 30-day public comment period required within that timeframe. The application was available for review from February 26, 2014, through April 30, 2014. MDE accepted public comments at firstname.lastname@example.org