LRE and Placement

Where will a student with a disability receive his or her special education and related services? IDEA requires placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for each child, a setting that is based on the child’s IEP.

Least Restrictive Environment LRE

The regular education classroom is the first placement choice the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must consider. When an IEP team, which always includes the parents, considers where a child will be educated, it must ask what can be provided so the child can stay in the regular education classroom or activity. It must consider what “supplementary aids and services” (extra supports) will allow the child to be placed in a regular classroom environment. Examples might include assistive technology, special behavior strategies, use of a resource room, paraprofessional support, or accommodations or modifications of assignments.

IDEA REGULATION §300.114(a)(2) General LRE requirements: Each public agency must ensure that—

(i) to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and
(ii) special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids

In addition to the placement resources listed above, these are more great resources:

Where is placement/LRE discussed on the IEP form?

Quick Reference Guide: Special Education Services and Programs Michigan Department of Education

Procedures for Determining LRE Michigan Dept of Education

The State Board of Education Procedures for Determining Least Restrictive Environment (August 2004) in accordance with the IDEA indicates that the provisions of educational services for students with disabilities should be in schools where peers without disabilities attend, in age-appropriate general education programs under the direct supervision of general education teachers, with special education support and assistance as determined appropriate through the student’s IEP.

Does LRE apply everywhere?

Where can I learn more and get support?

Inclusion: Free Appropriate Public Education in the Least Restrictive Environment– from the Michigan Alliance for Families Webinar Series