The phrase “least-restrictive” environment means schools that receive public funding have an obligation to give all students the opportunity to learn in regular classrooms to the greatest extent possible.
Schools are required by law to allow special education students to participate in a standard learning environment along with nondisabled students.
If the school cannot accommodate the student’s needs alongside nondisabled students in a regular classroom, the school must provide an environment that meets all education requirements.
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) stipulate that K-12 public schools give students with disabilities opportunities to learn in regular classrooms alongside nondisabled students to the fullest extent possible.
IDEA was amended in 2012 to make provisions for measuring the academic success of special education programs against testing standards set for students in regular classrooms.
The purpose of inclusive classrooms is to provide an education for special needs students alongside nondisabled students in K-12 schools that receive public funding.
Although the term “inclusive classrooms” is relatively new, it complies with the original intention of laws passed by Congress, beginning with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975.In a world of budget cuts, staffing shortages and larger class sizes, understanding the laws that surround special education programs in U. schools is crucial to building an inclusive learning environment for every student — from those with physical and learning disabilities, to exceptionally gifted children, and every child in between.The National Center for Education Statistics estimates roughly 70 percent of today’s students are enrolled in elementary or middle schools.Section 504 states that excluding or segregating persons with disabilities is considered discrimination. Withers is a 1993 landmark court case in which the parents of a special education student sued his school, its principal and a teacher.It was the first case in which a teacher was required to pay damages for failing to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).