What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") is a law that is a source of federal aid to children with disabilities. At its core, the IDEA requires that school districts provide children with special needs a free appropriate public education ("FAPE").


FAPE requires that a child's special education:


  • Must be provided at public expense;

  • Meets the state education standards;

  • Includes appropriate preschool, elementary school, and secondary education; and

  • Follows an Individualized Education Program("IEP") that is specially designed for the child.


To determine whether a school district provided a student with a FAPE, we look at the adequacy of the district's proposed program. 


School Districts are also required to provide a student with a program in the least restrictive environment ("LRE"), with removal from the regular education environment occurring only when the nature and severity of the student's disabilities is such that education in the regular classroom with supplementary aids and services cannnot be achieved satisfactorily.   


Under the IDEA, Parents have the right to:


  • A complete explanation of the procedural safeguards available under IDEA;

  • Review and inspect their child's educational records; 

  • to obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation ("IEE") of their child if they disagree with the school district's assessment;

  • Receive prior written notice on matters regarding the placement, evaluation, and identification of their child, and the provision of FAPE;

  • Participate in IEP meetings;

  • To file for due process and appeal decisions to state or federal court when they disagree with the district’s determinations or the implementation of their child’s IEP.




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Weekends and evenings with an appointment


Or send us an email: 


980 9th Street, 16th Floor, Sacramento, CA 


3017 Douglas Blvd., Suite 300, Roseville, CA


Or meet with us at

1901 Harrison Street, Suite 1100

Oakland, CA  


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