MDE Issues Guidance for FAPE for Adult Learners

From the Michigan Department of Education, August 14, 2022

The Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education (MDE OSE) is proud to announce the release of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for Adult Learners, a guidance document that was a year-long effort involving a broad and diverse stakeholder group.

The collaborative work came as a result of a series of state complaints involving students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) who were enrolled in adult education but not receiving special education services. Districts and Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) in Michigan have an obligation to ensure eligible youth and young adult learners with disabilities under 26 years of age, who have not graduated with a regular diploma are provided a FAPE. This includes young adults who are enrolled in adult education, which is outside the K-12 system and operated by the Department of Labor Economic Opportunity, and young adults in alternative education and transition programs, which are within the K-12 system.

Throughout the 2021-22 school year, the MDE OSE conducted national research and held a variety of stakeholder groups comprised of districts, ISDs, adult education staff, OSE and other MDE staff, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Adult Education staff.

This guidance establishes the requirements and defines who is responsible for implementing the requirements.