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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that mandates the provision of special education to students with disabilities. Originally approved in 1975, the law was reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (also IDEA) in 2004. This law regulates how states and public agencies provide early interventions and special education services to children from birth until age 21. Understanding the provisions of this law is an important component of understanding education finance and policy in general in the United States, as the law covers approximately 6.5 million students. It is also important because the law provides detailed provisions regarding the federal education funding for these students and also provides significant rules and regulations for states to follow in order ...

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