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(a) As defined in this paragraph, the commissioner must adopt rules relative to qualifications of essential personnel, courses of study, methods of instruction, pupil eligibility, size of classes, rooms, equipment, supervision, parent consultation, and other necessary rules for instruction of children with a disability. These rules must provide standards and procedures appropriate for the implementation of and within the limitations of sections 125A.08 and 125A.091. These rules must also provide standards for the discipline, control, management, and protection of children with a disability. The commissioner must not adopt rules for pupils served primarily in the regular classroom establishing either case loads or the maximum number of pupils that may be assigned to special education teachers. The commissioner, in consultation with the Departments of Health and Human Services, must adopt permanent rules for instruction and services for children under age five and their families. These rules are binding on state and local education, health, and human services agencies. The commissioner must adopt rules to determine eligibility for special education services. The rules must include procedures and standards by which to grant variances for experimental eligibility criteria. The commissioner must, according to section 14.05, subdivision 4, notify a district applying for a variance from the rules within 45 calendar days of receiving the request whether the request for the variance has been granted or denied. If a request is denied, the commissioner must specify the program standards used to evaluate the request and the reasons for denying the request.

(b) As provided in this paragraph, the state's regulatory scheme should support schools by assuring that all state special education rules adopted by the commissioner result in one or more of the following outcomes:

(1) increased time available to teachers and, where appropriate, to support staff including school nurses for educating students through direct and indirect instruction;

(2) consistent and uniform access to effective education programs for students with disabilities throughout the state;

(3) reduced inequalities and conflict, appropriate due process hearing procedures and reduced court actions related to the delivery of special education instruction and services for students with disabilities;

(4) clear expectations for service providers and for students with disabilities;

(5) increased accountability for all individuals and agencies that provide instruction and other services to students with disabilities;

(6) greater focus for the state and local resources dedicated to educating students with disabilities; and

(7) clearer standards for evaluating the effectiveness of education and support services for students with disabilities.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes