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12 Feb

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).

Parents who believe their child has been misclassified are entitled to request, at no cost, a formal meeting to discuss their concerns with the teacher, school principal and special education staff.

Federal laws require schools that receive public funds to provide disabled students greater access to education in the least-restrictive environment possible.

Students with special needs who do not receive early intervention drop out of high school at disproportionately higher rates than nondisabled students.

Some estimates place the dropout rate for disabled students as high as twice that of other students, which ultimately costs society far more than it does to educate them properly.

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.

Students with special education needs are as likely to live in rural areas as they are to reside in urban settings. According to 2010 Census Bureau statistics, other states with disproportionate numbers of students classified as having physical, cognitive or learning disabilities are: The best way to identify a child with special education needs is for parents, teachers, physicians and other professionals to collaborate.

Parents who suspect their child may have a learning disability should: Studies have found that after about age 7 it is difficult to bring children with disabilities that affect learning up to grade-level performance.

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.