What does the Law say about “Inclusion”?

 

“FAPE” Free and Appropriate Public Education

The LEA shall ensure:

  • To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions, are educated with children who are non-disabled and
  • That special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aides and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily

Code of Regulations: 300.550

“LRE” Least Restrictive Environment  

The Third Circuit discussed the LRE requirement:

  • “The least restrictive environment is the one that, to the greatest extent possible, satisfactorily educates disabled children together with children who are not disabled, in the same school the disabled child would attend if the child were not disabled”
  • “We have interpreted this mandate to require that a disabled child be placed in the least restrictive environment (hereinafter “LRE”) that will provide him with a meaningful educational benefit

 

“Significant Learning” & “Meaningful Educational Benefit”

  • Many special education disputes involve questions about FAPE and educational benefit. In N.R. v. Kingwood Township (NJ), the court clarified “educational benefit”
  • “Specifically, a satisfactory IEP must provide “significant learning” and confer “meaningful benefit
  • In N.R. v. Kingwood Township (NJ), U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit clarified “meaningful benefit”, the requirement to offer a “continuum of placements,” and the requirement to provide a “free appropriate education (FAPE) in the “least restrictive environment”

Mainstreaming provision case law

“. . . the IDEA’s mainstreaming provision establishes a presumption, not an inflexible federal mandate. Under its terms, disabled children are to be educated with children who are not handicapped only “to the maximum extent appropriate.” 20 U.S.C. § 1412(5)(B). Section 1412(5)(B) explicitly states that mainstreaming is not appropriate “when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” 20 U.S.C. § 1412(5)(B); see also Rowley, 458 U.S. at 181 n.4.”

 

Mainstreaming/Inclusion Model

  • Services are brought to the student, rather than pulling the student out to receive services (DIS)
  • Students are provided accommodations and modifications for the grade level material
  • Students are viewed as members of the classroom, not visitors
  • Students are viewed as general education students first, special education students second

 

Improved Student Outcomes

  • Standards and accountability demand that ALL students achieve
  • Collaboration/Inclusive education increases access to the core curriculum
  • Students are not pulled out or isolated
  • Research shows standardized test scores improve
Leave a Comment