Children with disabilities are entitled under Federal and State law to a free appropriate public education (FAPE), provided by or paid for by their local school district, in the least restrictive environment (LRE), from age 3 through 21 or through high school graduation, whichever comes first. There are also special rules for eligible children aged 3-5, who are classified as Preschool Disabled. Click here to learn more about your own and your child’s rights regarding special education services.
In addition, school districts are required to follow a prescribed process of identification and referral of students with disabilities for special education services. Click here to learn more about that process.
There are also several myths and misunderstandings related to “Least Restrictive Environments,” or “LRE.” Many parents and educators operate under the misperception that LRE is simply a matter of keeping students in local schools. But the placement that is the LRE is different for each child, and the law does not say that placement must always be in ‘the regular class.’ In fact, in crafting IDEA, Congress was careful NOT to convey that restriction. Click here to learn more about LRE, what it IS, and ISN’T.
In addition to this website, there are many resources available to parents and educators that can help them learn more about special education options, procedures and appropriate practices. Click here to access even more resources.