Donate

Questions & Answers on Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Requirements of IDEA

When discussion of placement arises in an IEP meeting, often how much “inclusion” will be accessible for a student becomes a topic of conversation.  Where is “inclusion” in IDEA?  Is that term actually there?  Or is it a concept?  Least Restrictive Environment is the term IDEA uses to define placements.  The United States Department of Education, office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), published a guidance memo November 23, 1994 that answered these 10 common questions about Least Restrictive Environment.  (Keep in mind that this memo was issued before the two reauthorizations which may have changed the actual code references which were attached to the original IDEA).  Find the answers to all of these questions below.

  1. What are the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Requirements of Part B of IDEA?
  2. Does IDEA define the term “inclusion?”
  3. How can IDEA requirements be implemented to ensure that consideration is given to whether a student with a disability can be educated in the regular education environment with the use of supplementary aids and services before a more restrictive placement is considered?
  4. Does IDEA define the term “supplementary aids and services?”
  5. How frequently must a disabled student’s placement be reviewed under IDEA?
  6. If a determination is made that a student with a disability cannot be educated in regular classes with the provisions of supplementary aids and services, can school districts refuse to implement the student’s IEP in a specific class because of the unwillingness of a particular teacher to educate that student in his or her classroom or the teacher’s assertion that he or she lacks adequate training to educate that student effectively?
  7. Once a determination is made that a disabled student cannot be educated satisfactorily in the regular educational environment, even with the provision of supplementary aids and services, what considerations govern placement?
  8. What are the permissible factors that must be considered in determining what placement is appropriate for a student with a disability?  Which factors, if any, may not be considered?
  9. To what extent is it permissible under IDEA for school districts to consider the impact of a regular classroom placement on those students in the classroom who do not have a disability?
  10. Are there any resources that the Department is aware of that have proven helpful to educators and paraprofessionals in implementing inclusive education programs?

You can find the complete Question and Answers document with the answers to all of these questions here  LRE.OSEP.MEMO 11-23-1994  or on Wright’s Law: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/lre.osers.memo.idea.htm

Share Button