Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Education/Arts: Special Education, Programs & Services

E21 Special Education

E22 Special Education Appeals

E23 Health, Safety, & Student Support Services

E24 Bureau of Transitional Planning

E21 Special Education
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148 4906
Tel: 781-338-3375
Fax: 781-338-3396

Chapter 766, the Massachusetts Special Education Law, is designed to define the needs of children requiring special education in a broad and flexible manner, to minimize the possibility of stigmatization, and to maximize the child's development in the least restrictive environment. The Department of Education has lead responsibility for ensuring that all provisions of Chapter 766 are met, for promulgating the regulations for its implementation, and for ensuring that the provisions of other state and federal special education laws are also met. Functioning in an advisory capacity to the Board of Education is the State Advisory Commission for Special Education (SAC). The SAC is responsible for advising the Department on unmet needs for special education within the Commonwealth; submitting an annual written report to the Board of Education; commenting publicly on the State Plan for special education, and the procedures for distribution of funds under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal special education law; and assisting the Department in developing and reporting such information as may be required by the United States Department of Education under the IDEA.

Educational Services in Institutional Settings
Tel: 781-338-3303

The office provides or arranges for the provision of special education to children who reside in institutions under the control of the Departments of Developmental Services, Mental Health, Public Health, and Youth Services and other human service agencies so designated by the Department of Education. It assigns educational advocates to represent students with special needs statewide and assigns direct responsibility of students with special needs without a parent or guardian to local community. The Bureau of Institutional Schools oversees the Vision Resource Library, the Local Educational Advocate assignment process, and the statewide Educational Advocate Program.

E22 Special Education Appeals
Department of Education
350 Main Street
Malden, MA 02148
Tel: 781-338-6400
Fax: 781-338-3398

This office holds mediation sessions and conducts hearings on rejected educational plans on behalf of children and groups of children in need of special services.

E23 Health, Safety & Student Support Services
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148 4906
Tel: 781-338-6480
Fax: 781-338-3399

This office oversees many  programs  with the students safety in mind: the Safe and Drug Free Schools program; the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Cooperative Agreement; the Learn and Serve America; the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act; and the Massachusetts Migrant Education program to name a few. While the Gay/Straight Alliance, and the Teen Dating Violence Intervention and Prevention Project have lost their funding, some limited technical assistance may still be possible to schools upon request.

E24 Bureau of Transitional Planning
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
One Ashburton Place, Room 1109
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-573-1600
Fax: 617-727-5134

This bureau is responsible for the implementation of Chapter 688 of the Acts of 1983 which entitles severely disabled Chapter 766 students, as defined in the statute, to transitional plans as of age 22. These plans will link them to appropriate adult service delivery agencies. Two years prior to termination of Chapter 766 coverage for these clients, the local school system should initiate the transitional process. For further information, contact the bureau.

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