"Special education is a service for children rather than a place where they are sent" (US Congress, 1997 and 2004)
Educating students in the least restrictive environment means educating students with learning differences in the same classrooms as traditional learners
This legislation states that students with and without disabilities should be educated together as much as possible and that removing students with disabilities from the traditional classroom setting should be a last resort
LRE legislation is a provision of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act)
This provision is necessary because keeping students with disabilities in the traditional classroom setting helps to maximize their learning potential and challenges them to meet high academic expectations
Tommy, a high school sophomore on the Autism spectrum, is able to be a part of the typical classroom for the majority of his day. During his study hall, he meets with a learning specialist in the school's on-site learning center for a bit of extra help. He is also able to go to the learning center for extra help during tests.
Schools must also ensure that students with disabilities are able to participate in extracurricular activities and provide services that maximize their abilities to succeed in these areas
The goal of LRE legislation, and in fact another name for it, is inclusion