We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Special Education Law?

By Kyla G. Kelim
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Special education law is a legal framework of education in the United States that guarantees a “free and appropriate public education” to children with disabilities. If the school fails, then the parents can place the child in an appropriate private school and the public school system must pay for the tuition. The primary federal law that protects special needs children is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Special education law also provides a method for balancing parent rights and student rights with school employee rights and school board rights through a due process system.

The federal special education law, IDEA, provides free special education resources to children ages 5 to 21, including an individualized education plan (IEP). These resources include access to assistive technology. For example, if the student needs to type his work because he cannot write effectively as the result of a disability, then the special education law requires the school system to provide the child with a computer. The special education law then provides parents with the opportunity to be involved in each stage of the decision-making process. If the parents do not agree with the decisions of the school system, special education law provides a framework with due process rights for all participants.

A significant development in special education law is the concept of the “least restrictive environment” with respect to school. This means that the disabled child has the right, if at all possible, to be in the classroom with children who are not disabled. Even if the disabled child is unable to be fully integrated into the classroom, the child will still have the least restrictive environment available, such as a partial day in the classroom with periods in the resource room with a special needs professional.

Special education laws have changed dramatically since the 1980s. Amendments to special education laws include early intervention for children from birth, providing services at an earlier age to assist with their later education. Some states provide additional special education laws and rules that give the student greater rights, typically in the form of due process procedures. The passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) presents a challenge to special education professionals, because IDEA focuses on providing an education that is tailored to the individual's needs, while NCLB seeks uniformity in assessing students in each grade.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.