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Least Restrictive Environment

The passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EAHCA), or Public Law 94-142, entitled students with disabilities, aged 3–21 years, to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The reauthorization of Public Law 94-142, later renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), conceptualized LRE as follows:

[t}o the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities, including students in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with students who are not disabled, and that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot ...

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