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6 Key Ideas of IDEA


Learn what the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has to say about about your child's educational rights.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

1. Education for All

Schools must educate all children with disabilities. Also, schools are required to seek out children in their district with disabilities, which is called "child find."

2. Nondiscriminatory Evaluation

Children have the right to an evaluation that does not discriminate based on race, language, or culture. All tests must be given in the child's primary language. Special education decisions must consider many sources of information, and they should not be based from a single test score.

3. Free Appropriate Education (FAPE)

All children are entitled to a free, appropriate, public education. This means children are educated at public expense. Also, the education needs to be appropriate for the child's learning needs.

4. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Children must be educated in the least restrictive environment, meaning children in special education should be placed in a regular classroom as much as possible. Inclusion means students have access to the general curriculum as much as appropriately possible.

5. Due Process Rights

Schools must provide due process rights to protect children with disabilities and their parents. Parent must agree on evaluation and placement decisions. Parent have the right to see school records and obtain an independent evaluation paid for by the school. When the parents and the school disagrees, parents have the right to request a due process hearing.

6. Shared Decision Making

Schools must work together with parents and students when designing and implementing special education services.