Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Least Restrictive Environment
Juliet E. Hart
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that every student with a disability be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE). More specifically, LRE is a legal term referring to IDEA'S requirement that, “to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities … be educated with children who are not disabled, and that in special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment may occur only 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., Sec. 1412 [a] ). Thus, the LRE is the educational setting that most closely approximates the regular school program (i.e., that of nondisabled students), while also meeting each child's special educational needs. IDEA establishes a presumption in ...