Special Education

The Special Education Unit in the Division of Learning Services collaborates with local school districts, educational service cooperatives, and other state agencies to ensure that all children with disabilities (ages 3 to 21) in Arkansas receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Special Education Unit is committed to improving educational results for students with disabilities through statewide leadership, support, and service to schools, educators, students, families, and other stakeholders.


Responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring compliance with program and fiscal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and related state laws and regulations;
  • Professional development and technical assistance outreach to improve special education programs;
  • Supporting efforts to ensure special educators are adequately prepared to meet the needs of children with disabilities;
  • Management of federally required data reporting and analysis;
  • Administration and oversight of state and local special education annual applications/budgets and related expenditures; and
  • Maintaining an effective system for dispute resolution.




Alternate Path to GraduationChild FindCIRCUIT
Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening ServicesMediation, Facilitated IEPs, Hearings, ComplaintsEarly Childhood Special Education
Funding & FinanceMonitoring
MySped ResourceParentsParaprofessionals
Policy and RulesPresentationsPublic Reporting
Special Education FormsResponse to Intervention (RTI)Standards-Based IEPs
TeachersTechnical Assistance ProvidersTechnical Assistance Resources





For more information, please contact:

Matt Sewell, Director of Special Programs
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-4221
Fax: 501-682-5159

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