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Least Restrictive Environment, Current Practices in

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) has six guiding principles: (1) a free appropriate public education (FAPE), which requires that educational programming be designed to meet a child’s needs; (2) an appropriate evaluation in all areas of suspected needs by qualified personnel; (3) an individualized education program (IEP) that stipulates the necessary instructional plan to meet the child’s needs; (4) the least restrictive environment (LRE) or a preferred instructional setting in general education with appropriate services and supplemental aids with nondisabled peers, to the greatest extent possible; (5) parent and student participation in decision making; and (6) procedural safeguards. Historically, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, the forerunner of IDEA, set as a preferred standard that all ...

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