IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) provides federal funding to states to help guarantee special education and related services to eligible students. IDEA helps students with disabilities reach their potential. It focuses on making sure eligible students with disabilities get a fair chance to develop and learn.
Under IDEA, all eligible students are entitled to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). A school district must provide special education and related services at no cost to the child or the child's parents
FAPE doesn’t mean the best possible education is offered at public expense to your child. Court decisions have ruled “appropriate education” guarantees equal opportunity through a uniquely designed educational plan that meets state educational standards, but not a guarantee of a specific level of achievement or even a regular high school diploma.
Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a uniquely designed plan of instruction that is created and implemented to meet the specific needs of the student identified with one of 13 identified disability categories and because of the disability needs special education services to benefit from the general education program. The IEP is designed by a committee (IEP team) that includes both school staff, parents, and in some cases, the student, based on the strengths and needs of the student.
The IDEA provides specific protections to parents and students.
The IDEA provides specific protections to parents and students. Areas of protection include right to prior notice, participation in the process, and informed consent. For a detailed description, See the downloadable copy of these rights in the "Documents" link.