Special Education

District and school administrators will find information in this section related to the administration of special education in schools.

The Division of Assistance and Compliance oversees the implementation of certain state and federal education laws and resources to assist school districts and parents in complying with these laws. Information on these topics have been incorporated into this section, for your convenience.

Minnesota's Olmstead Plan

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan is a broad series of key activities our state must accomplish to ensure people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting. The plan will help achieve a better Minnesota because it will help Minnesotans with disabilities have better opportunities. Learn more about Minnesota's Olmstead Plan.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: The Start of the 2021-22 School Year and the New Minnesota Special Education Recovery Services Law - 9/9/21
    To assist school districts and charter schools in continuing to provide equitable access to high-quality special education and related services and to support families of students with disabilities and school districts and charter schools as they address the impact of disruptions to in-person instruction related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Guidance for Part C/Early Intervention and the Application of Special Education Recovery Services and Supports - 9/2/21
    Federal guidance, state statutory requirements and other considerations for special education recovery services for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
  • Special Education Division Contributes to MDE Strategic Plan and Aligns with MDE Internal Priorities - 9/1/21
    How the work and plans of the Special Education Division contribute to the overall Minnesota Department of Education strategic plan and its internal priorities.
  • General Guidance for Special Education Recovery Services and Supports - 8/18/21
    Requirements of Minnesota Session Laws – 2021, Chapter 13, Article 5, Section 1 for school districts and charter schools; funding sources
  • Updated Guide to Addressing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students with Disabilities - 7/22/21
    Assistance for school districts, charter schools, and parents in making determinations of appropriate services for students with disabilities related to their disrupted education or inability to access appropriate special education and related services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updated July 2021 to incorporate special education recovery services and supports.
  •  - 6/15/21
  •  - 1/5/21
  • Inclusive Schools Week 2020 - 12/1/20
    Governor Walz's proclamation of December 6-12, 2020 as Inclusive Schools Week in Minnesota
  •  - 11/30/20
    general clarification of current options and safety requirements for school districts to provide in-person services in schools and homes to students with disabilities
  • Special Education Funding Changes for State Fiscal Year 2021 - 11/6/20
    Fiscal procedures, maintenance of effort (MOE), new codes, contracted transportation and implications for Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services (ADSIS)
  • In-Person Instruction and Services Q and A - 11/5/20
    This document outlines considerations for how school district and charter school staff can meet individual needs for students with disabilities who have an IEP or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), ages birth to 21 years, through in-person services and instruction, which may include providing in-home support.
  •  - 8/25/20
    Questions and answers regarding special education instruction, services and programming
  •  - 3/31/20
    State and federal funding changes for the distance learning period, examples, reporting
  •  - 3/25/20
    Legal requirements and factors to consider.
  •  - 9/26/19
    overviews, data, goals and contacts for division programs
  • Special Education Fact Sheet - 8/27/19
    Special Education Division foundation statements, outcome data, goals and service eligibility
  • Minnesota Low Incidence Projects memo - 4/29/19
    memo to schools regarding low incidence projects - effective April 2019
  •  - 9/24/18
    Mission, vision, guiding principles and values
  •  - 8/28/17
    Hyperlinked list of acronyms used in special education.