The Michigan Department of Education has proposed significant changes to the rules governing special education services in public schools.

Many of the changes were first recommended seven years ago by a state Special Education Task Force. They are intended to reduce overlap between state and federal special education regulations, and give intermediate school districts more freedom to decide which programs they will provide to students.

The Department has held 10 hearings around the state to allow the public to submit comments on the proposed changes. The department's web site also includes information on the changes and opportunities for public comment at http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530_6598---,00.html.