Least restrictive environment (LRE) is one of six key principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004, protecting the rights of children with disabilities to an individually appropriate education in the general education environment and to the maximum extent appropriate in proximity to peers without disabilities. The LRE principle is designed to ensure that the provision of special education services does not compromise fundamentally the child's basic civil rights to social justice and equitable treatment. The objective of the principle is to increase the access of students with disabilities to general education classrooms and full participation in the community, hence reducing segregation. This entry provides an overview of the least restrictive environment, how it has been applied in the United ...

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