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MA Special Education Law

There are two laws that govern the special education for children with disabilities in Massachusetts. The first is the federal law-the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004). The second law is the Massachusetts Special Education Law-Chapter 71B of the General Laws of Massachusetts.

Each of these two laws is accompanied by corresponding regulations. Regulations are guidelines which provide school districts and parents with more specific rules on how to apply these laws.

It is important to note that the rights and protections of IDEA have been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court as a federal minimum standard or “basic floor.” A state can grant more extensive rights if it chooses. The rights and protections guaranteed in the Massachusetts Special Education Law do supersede IDEA 2004 in certain instances.

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