Special Education Regulations

Laws, Regulations and Policy

Special Education laws, regulations and policy establish the requirements for educating students with disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Congress enacted IDEA based on its finding that “disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”

Federal Regulations for Implementing IDEA

The U.S. Department of Education issues federal regulations for implementing IDEA and to govern the Assistance to States for Education of Children with Disabilities Program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities Program. These rules are published in Part 300 of the 34th Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR).


Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2014

Each year the Rhode Island Department of Education applies for a grant award under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A draft of the proposed application and accompanying use of funds spreadsheet are posted for a 60 day public review period and 30 day public comment period. The Rhode Island application and spreadsheet are available for public review and comment March 3, 2014 through May 2, 2014 at 4:00PM. Comments may be submitted through email to Karen Lovett at Karen.Lovett@ride.ri.gov or mailed to:

IDEA Part B Grant Application – Public Comment
Attention: Karen Lovett
Rhode Island Department of Education
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903

General questions or request for alternative formats of the application may be directed to Karen Lovett via email or by calling 401-222-8333.

Public Hearing Announcement

The Rhode Island Department of Elementary & Secondary Education will be holding hearings to gather public input on the Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 and the Rhode Island Board of Education Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities, Adopted September 9, 2013; Effective October 9, 2013.

Hearings will be held on April 15, 2014 and April 17, 2014 5:00 to 6:00PM at the:
Paff Auditorium
University of Rhode Island – Providence Campus
80 Washington Street
Providence, RI  02903

Documents pertaining to the hearings may be reviewed above.

Rhode Island Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities

Rhode Island establishes state regulations for implementing IDEA. These rules are designed to ensure a free, appropriate public education for children with disabilities, protect the rights of children with disabilities and their parents, assist agencies to provide for the education of children with disabilities, and to assess and ensure the effectiveness of these efforts. The RIDE Office of Student, Community and Academic Supports oversees these state regulations.

See additional standards for meeting Rhode Island Regulations

Rhode Island Special Education Procedural Safeguards Notice

Know your rights!
This notice is the state’s model form for explaining parents’ rights under special education law and regulations. Federal and state regulations require schools to provide you with such a notice containing a full explanation of your rights in special education.

State Criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities

The Rhode Island Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities provide for the establishment of state criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities. On June 4, 2009, the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education approved Rhode Island’s State Criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities.

Please see the Special Education Resource page for more information.

Be Informed!

Take a look at these related resources.