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Welcome to the Bureau of Special Education

We hope you will find this information useful and informative. Please continue to check this website often, as information will be continuously updated.

Help for families and advocates of children with special needs can be obtained by calling the Consult Line at 1-800-879-2301, or request ConsultLine to contact you by using the on-line request form available at:

Quick Reference Links

BSE Communicator

Council for Exceptional Children

IDEA-B State Grant Application (PDF)

IDEA History

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) BEC

Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership Center

Parent Education Network

Parents' Rights (PDF)

PDE Special Education Compliancy Policy

Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP)

Special Education and the Homeless
Q & A

Special Education in PA - ConsultLine

Special Education in PA - FAQ (PDF)

Special Education Regulations

US Office of Special Education/Monitoring

US Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Staff Directory
Director's Office (PDF)
Division of Improvement and Technical Assistance, Central (PDF)
Division of Monitoring and Improvement, East (PDF)
Division of Monitoring and Improvement, West (PDF)

Voter Registration Services
As part of its provision of services to special education students designed for transition to adult life, school districts and other local education agencies are required to afford students the opportunity to register to vote upon attaining 18 years of age. For all information regarding voter registration services or to obtain a voter registration application, you may go to the followings Basic Education Circulars (BECs).

Voter Registration BECs

Voter Registration As Part Of Implementation of Chapter 15
Voter Registration As Part Of Transition To Adult Life (PDF)

Also, below are links to the PA Guide to Agency Based Voter Registration and a copy of a request for agency based voter registration forms that can be ordered from the Department of State.

2010 PA Guide to Agency Based Voter Registration (PDF)
Agency Request Form (Word)


Contact John Machella for regarding this project at 814-536-1956 (


In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapters 14 and 15 of the State Board Regulations, PDE provides general supervision over all public schools, school districts, and other public education agencies within the state to ensure that each student with a disability receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and that each family has the benefits of a system of procedural safeguards. Learn More

Complaint Form
The Complaint Form and procedures are to be utilized to file a complaint with the Bureau of Special Education. Please click on the link below to obtain a copy of the Complaint Form and/or State Complaint Resolution Procedures.

The Complaint Form can also be found at Go to Consultline - Complaint Information Packet and Form.

Equitable Participation

The following links will provide the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regulatory language relative to Equitable Participation services for parentally placed private school students with disabilities; a question and answer document developed by the Bureau of Special Education clarifying frequently asked questions and a powerpoint presentation regarding Equitable Participation.

Funding Sources

IDEA-B Policies and Procedures

  • IDEA-B Policies and Procedures - Pennsylvania

IDEA-B Grant Application
The proposed annual State grant application under Part B of IDEA for federal fiscal year 2015 is available for public comment:

LEA Model Policies and Procedures
Under the regulatory provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA-B), to be eligible for funds the Local Educational Agency (LEA) must, among many things, demonstrate to the satisfaction of the State Education Agency (SEA) that it meets the conditions in §§300.101 through 300.163, and §§300.165—300.174. The conditions under §300.220 require the LEAs to have in effect policies, procedures, and programs that are consistent with the State policies and procedures established under §§ 300.101 through 300.163, and §§300.165—300.174. The Board approved LEA Policies and Procedures must be on file with the Department of Education. This current model of LEA Policies and Procedures is formatted to facilitate future modifications of the policies and procedures. Modifications to the IDEA Policies and Procedures may be necessary to ensure compliance with Part 300, if: (1) The provisions of the IDEA or the implementing regulations are amended; (2) There is a new interpretation of the IDEA by Federal or State courts; or (3) There is an official finding of noncompliance with Federal or State law or regulations.

Program and Fiscal Guidelines

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is moving forward to inform all stakeholders regarding the amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act that were signed into law by the President, December 3, 2004. IDEIA 2004 maintains the basic principles of the law, a free appropriate public education for all students with disabilities, in the least restrictive environment, however, there are many changes and modifications to the IEP process and other aspects of the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities.

Most new requirements are effective July 1, 2005. PDE is working through its PaTTAN staff and Intermediate Units to provide awareness
and specific training on the new requirements to all stakeholders. Please find below, a listing of activities and information to assist schools and parents in implementation of this new law.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is committed to ongoing information sharing, dialog, and training regarding new law. The website will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

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