What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the nation’s special education law. First enacted three decades ago, IDEA provides billions of dollars in federal funding to assist states and local communities in providing educational opportunities for approximately six million students with varying degrees of disability who participate in special education.
In exchange for federal funding, IDEA requires states to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The statute also contains detailed due process provisions to ensure the provision of FAPE. Originally enacted in 1975, the Act responded to increased awareness of the need to educate children with disabilities and to judicial decisions requiring states to provide an education for children with disabilities if they provide an education for children without disabilities.
For more information on IDEA, go to the Committee on Education and the Workforce Home Page at edworkforce.house.gov .
- Definition taken from the Committee on Education and the Workforce web site
Page Last Updated: Feb 18, 2019 (08:25:11)