From Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
This month's Special EDition is the second of a two–part discussion about the principle of least restrictive environment (LRE). If a student with a disability qualifies for specialized instruction and services (special education) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the student must receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment.
As discussed in Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), Part 1, LRE requires the school district to ensure that:
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who do not have disabilities; and
Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from regular education happens only if the student's disability is so significant that education in regular classes, even with the use of additional aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
How is LRE measured?
Each IEP must state the extent to which the student with a disability will not participate with nondisabled peers in the regular class, and in extracurricular and nonacademic activities. This is written as percentage removed from regular class settings.
The IEP must also provide a written explanation of what placement options were considered and the reasons for rejecting these placements other than the regular classroom. The IEP must state why the student's disability prevents his needs from being met in the regular classroom, even with the use of extra supports and services. Federal and state policy forbid placing a student in a segregated setting over a general education setting if the placement decision is not based onstudent needs.
Read more HERE.