Special Education Services for New/Transferring Students
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) address how districts must handle the provision of special education for students who are currently eligible for special education programs and services and have transferred to a new district with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Students with an IEP from Another District in Michigan
When a student with an IEP transfers from one district to another district in Michigan, the new district, in consultation with the parent/guardian, must immediately provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student including services comparable to those described in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the previous district. This will be in effect until the new district either:
A decision regarding implementation of the IEP shall be made within 30 school days of enrollment. The decision must be documented through notice.
Students with an IEP from Another State
When a student with an IEP transfers from a district in a different state and enrolls in a Michigan school, the district, in consultation with the parent/guardian, must provide the student with a FAPE including services comparable to those described in the student’s IEP from the previous district until the new district either:
- Conducts an initial evaluation.
- If it is determined a student needs an evaluation, the evaluation must be conducted within 30 school days from the date of consent.
- The district will continue to provide a FAPE, based on comparable services from the previous IEP, until the completion of the evaluation and subsequent offer of a FAPE.
- Develops and implements a new IEP, if appropriate with the intention to complete a new IEP following the REED process.
Students Who Transfer with a Pending Evaluation
When the student transfers to a new district before an initial evaluation is completed, the 30-school-day timeline does not apply when:
- The new district is making sufficient progress to ensure prompt completion of the evaluation.
- The parent/guardian and new district agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.