While a district can place a child in a particular classroom or school based on the availability of special education services, it cannot allow such concerns to dictate the child's placement on the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) continuum.---This is the case summary from the Letter to Trigg Office of Special Education Programs, 50 IDELR 48. (2007)
What this means for Parents: Part B of 34 CFR s 300.116 requires placement decisions be made in conformity with the least restrictive environment provisions. These requirements are consistent with section 612(a)(5) of IDEA which requires, 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. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
Bottom Line: Placement decisions must be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis, depending on each child's unique needs and circumstances and based on the child's IEP.
Placement decisions are not to be made on the availability of special education and related services, configuration of the service delivery system, or the category of disability.