Law- IDEA, Section 504, ESSA, ADA, MARSE

There are many laws that pertain to the education for students with disabilities.

State laws:

Federal laws:

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
    • Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.
    • History of IDEA video
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the main federal law that funds education.  The law includes accountability standards, college/career readiness goals to improve education outcomes for all students regardless of race, income, background, or where they live. ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)  supports standards-based education reform, which is based on the belief that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools.
    • ESSA Transition FAQs supports states and schools to understanding expectations during the transition to full implementation of the ESSA
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public or private, that receive federal financial assistance.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.
  • The Rehabilitation Act is the Federal legislation that authorizes the programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance.
  • Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act aims to increase the quality of technical education within the United States in order to help the economy.

Looking for more information on the law?  Help is available from these organizations.

Michigan Resources

Nationwide Resources

These Michigan Department of Education special education resources are also available:

Michigan Special Education Reference (MI-SER)-a research tool provided to special education program directors, school administrators, teachers and other service providers, parents, and parent support groups who need information regarding special education quickly and in a searchable format.

Compliance Standards for Special Education These Compliance Standards outline the compliance requirements for both the IDEA and the MARSE. These compliance standards must be met by all public agencies.

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