Placement of Students Ages 3-21 with Disabilities Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): A Policy Discussion, May 2010

(2010) Placement of Students Ages 3-21 with Disabilities Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): A Policy Discussion, May 2010. Education, Department of


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The provision of free appropriate public education (FAPE), an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and the least restrictive environment (LRE) have been important cornerstones of educating students with disabilities since the enactment of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA), Public Law 94-142, in 1975, and its subsequent reauthorizations, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990, 1997, and 2004. It is impossible to consider any one of these cornerstones without the others, when determining an appropriate educational placement for a student with a disability. The Iowa Department of Education has identified several practice issues regarding the interplay between FAPE, LRE, and the IEP in placement decisions for students with disabilities. To that end, this document will provide guidance for administrators of local education agencies (LEAs) and area education agencies (AEAs), as well as IEP teams (or other placement teams) within Iowa LEAs and AEAs when making placement decisions for eligible children with disabilities. This guidance will specifically discuss ten LRE and FAPE placement/program policy questions that have been identified by the Iowa Department of Education as needing attention. The policy discussions are consistent with the legal provisions of the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA (IDEA 2004) and its 2006 final federal implementing regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This document is also consistent with the Iowa Administrative Rules of Special Education (2007) [hereinafter “Iowa Rules”]. In addition, the term local education agency (LEA) is used interchangeably for school district throughout this document. Prior to the discussion of specific policy questions, a federal and state legal framework for providing FAPE for students with disabilities within the LRE is briefly outlined. Pertinent FAPE and LRE court decisions that impact Iowa LEAs and AEAs are also included within Section II.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Education, Disabilities, IEP
Subjects: Education > Students
Education > Students > High school students
Education > Students > Elementary school students
ID Code: 9965
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2010 17:25
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2010 17:25