What is Special Education?
Special Education is a specially designed
instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the
unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs,
whose educational needs cannot be met with
modification of the regular instructional program,
and related services, which may be needed to assist
such individuals to benefit from specially designed
instruction. The California Education Code (Section
Special education is founded upon some basic
tenants. The first is the provision of a Free,
Appropriate Public Education, commonly referred to
as FAPE. FAPE is a description of the services and
supports that are required for a child with a
disability to gain educational benefit. The offer of
FAPE is outlined in a studentís Individualized
Education Program (IEP).
The second tenant is the provision Least Restrictive
Environment (LRE). LRE is interpreted by Congress as
the education of students with disabilities
alongside non-disabled peers to the greatest extent
possible. The supports and services a child receives
through an IEP should be delivered in the least
restrictive environment. Once a student qualifies
for Special Education services, an Individualized
Education Program (IEP) is developed by the IEP
team, consisting of qualified professionals, the
student and the parents.
The IEP is a legal document that outlines the offer
of FAPE and the provision of LRE.