COLUMBIA – The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education held a public hearing on proposed changes in state regulations for special education services in Missouri on Tuesday.
Missouri is changing its state plan to comply with new federal guidelines that regulate federal funding for special education services, Jim Morris, the department’s spokesperson said. The federal plan went into effect Dec. 31, 2008. The state already put into practice many of the changes and is now changing the plan to continue to receive federal funds.
The federal plan “provides the guidelines for the schools eligible for funding,” Morris said. The changes are mainly “language clarifications and technical in nature," but won't change the meaning of the guidelines.
Most of the changes are for clarification purposes, but there is a new federal regulation that will allow parents to withdraw their child from special education services with written consent, Jackie Bruner, special education services director, said.
In the past, a team would evaluate the child to decide if special education services should be continued before removal was allowed, Bruner said.
Bruner expected feedback from parents about the new change, but “there has not been much comment about it either way, good or bad,” she said.
The proposed changes will be submitted to the Missouri State Board of Education for final approval after the final public hearing in St. Louis on Jan. 26.
Proposed changes to the state regulations are available at dese.mo.gov/divspeced/stateplan/index.html.