Understanding Eligibility Requirements for Special Education

  • Following the parent's consent to evaluate, the district has the next 60 days to collect additional information and administer assessments before convening the team to determine whether the child is eligible for special education services in Missouri.   

    Eligibility Categories

    The State of Missouri recognizes 16 eligibility categories for special education. For a description of the eligibility criteria, please select the specific category below. 


    Eligibility Meeting

    You will meet with a team of qualified professionals to review the evaluation results within 60 days of the date the district received your written consent for special education testing.  At this meeting, all evaluation results will be reviewed, and the team will consider possible eligibility categories suspected.  To be eligible, the child must meet criteria for one or more the specific categories listed above and require special education services.   If the team cannot agree on your child's eligibility, the district must make the final decision.  The district must provide you with a written statement (the Notice of Action) describing the decision and the reason for it.  The team may go beyond the 60 days when there is an excessive absence on the part of the student, snow days, or school breaks such as summer break, winter break, etc.

    Members of the Multidisciplinary Team  

    • You, the parent/guardian(s) of your child  
    • At least one general education teacher 
    • At least one special education teacher  
    • A representative of the school district
    • At least one individual who can explain the results of testing  
    • Other people who have knowledge or expertise about your child, invited by either the parent or the agency  
    • Your child, whenever appropriate

    Invitation Letter for Eligibility Determination Meeting

    The district must send you an invitation letter outlining the following items:

    • Purpose of the meeting
    • Who will attend as well as their role within the district
    • Date, time and location of the meeting
    • The meeting notice also tells you that you may invite people to the meeting that you believe have knowledge or expertise about your child.


    Evaluation Report to Parent

    After conducting the eligibility meeting, the district must provide the parent a copy of the Evaluation Report within a reasonable amount of time, usually 20 days.