How Well Do You Know Your State Regulations?

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Do you know how your state special education regulations differ from IDEA?

We cannot say it often enough. It is essential to read and know your state special education regulations. Why?

Frequently parents and educators believe that only the federal Department of Education can set the rules for kids with disabilities. This is not the case.

Are you curious (or concerned) about the impact your state rules can have on your child’s special education services? You should be.

So – How well do you know your state regulations? 

We would like to hear examples of differences in your state that might inform and guide other parents.

We want to hear from you!

*Please submit your response in the comments area below. Let us know if – and how – your state special education regulations differ from IDEA.
Don’t forget to include the citation for your state regulation.

Hat tip to Chuck Noe, Education Specialist at Partners Resource Network (PRN), Texas Parent Training and Information Center, for his input.

Read the complete article, learn more about state special education funding, and find out How State Rules and Regulations Impact IDEA.

Federal Law v. State Law

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that governs the education of children with disabilities.

Congress reauthorized the IDEA in 2004, and in 2006, the US Department of Education (USED) developed and published the federal special education regulations that clarify and explain how to implement IDEA.

After you understand the federal law and regulations, you should read your state special education law and regulations.

State Rules and Regulations

To receive federal special education funding, states must develop special education statutes and regulations that are consistent with IDEA and the federal special education regulations.

State statutes and regulations may provide more rights than federal law, but may not take away rights provided by federal law.

State law or rules often interpret or add to the federal law and regulations. Some state laws may actually provide more protections.

To receive federal funding, states must identify any rules, regulations, or policies that are state-imposed, and not required by IDEA or federal regulations. States must also inform local educational agencies (LEAs) in writing of these state-imposed rules.

The state of Texas currently reports 30 state-imposed rules. Yes – 30!

To name a few in Texas –

  • Contracting for Residential Educational Placements for Students with Disabilities.
  • Instructional Arrangements and Settings.
  • Referral for Full and Individual Initial Evaluation.
  • Time Line for All Notices.
  • Age Ranges for Student Eligibility.
  • and more…..

Differences in State Regulations

Many states have added rules and regulations to their state law regarding:

  • Restraint and Seclusion
  • IEP Team Decisions
  • Disability Categories
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Autism and Dyslexia
  • Transition
  • Eligibility
  • Due Process
  • Extended School Year (ESY)


It is essential to read and know your state special education regulations.

If you do not have a copy of your state regulations, contact your state Department of Education.

Read  How State Rules and Regulations Impact IDEA.

*Don’t forget to comment – let us know how your state regs differ from IDEA!

  1. IN igores most of IDEA. We have small rural areas as well as urban areas that ignore case conference purposes such as changing eligibility for a student without a CC to lack of holding ACR’s, move-in conferences and suspension/expulsion rules.

    • The statement “State law cannot be less than federal law – but State law or rules often interpret or add to the federal law and regulations.” – is that in accordance with the Chevron doctrine? Because we have state law that is more restrictive (eligibility)

  2. Help. I dont know where to turn. I’m an adult with add/adhd. I fought my way to a day shift position. My job requires certification. My boss has praised my performance saying I know our plant processes the best. Know because I cant pass a written test I’m being thrown to the overnight shift. This shift really isn’t good for me. With my adhd I’m isolated work alone. What help is there? I’m praised for my work. A level 4 certified operator with full time days all my boss does is trash talk him. Says doesn’t know his job. Yet my boss thinks a paper test ranks an employee. I’ve proven myself. Shown I know more than an employee that passed 4 tests. I cant do written tests yet hands on prove myself. Help. I’m ready to walk off the job a job I love. Where do I turn. If a test is a requirement.

    • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers workplace treatment of workers with disabilities. In some cases accommodations can be made for someone with reading problems. Your state workforce organization should be aware of the ADA, or it may be another agency. At the national level the Jobs Accommodation Network works with states & individuals on the law & accommodations. • Website: If you have problems finding help, let me know.

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