The IDEA's least restrictive environment mandate: legal implications.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Some statements may be disputed, incorrect, , biased or otherwise objectionable.
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
LRE Law-Related Education
LRE Long Range Ethernet (Cisco)
LRE Launch and Recovery Element
LRE Latest Revised Estimate
LRE Lead Responsible Engineer
LRE Low Bit-Rate Encoding ). The Act explicitly states that the LRE provision applies across the continuum of placement alternatives. Specifically, the IDEA requires states to establish procedures assuring that students with disabilities are educated to the maximum extent appropriate with students without disabilities. Further, the use of special classes and separate facilities or other removal from the general education environment may occur only when the nature or severity of the student's disability precludes satisfactory instruction in general education classes, even with supplementary aids and services. IDEA's LRE provisions apply to students in private schools, institutions, or other care facilities, not just students in public schools (IDEA, [section] 1412(5)(B)). The LRE provision has been cited frequently by courts in decisions regarding the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education
FAPE Families and Advocates Partnership for Education
FAPE Fund for Assistance to Private Education (Makati City, the Philippines)
FAPE Florida Association of Partners in Education ) for students with disabilities (Dubow, 1989).
Full integration of students with severe disabilities has not been realized in most school districts (Danielson & Bellamy, 1989; York & Vandercook, 1990). One reason for this may be that general education programs in many of our public schools are not set up so that students with severe disabilities can derive benefit from them. Classroom teachers in many school districts have not been properly trained to provide meaningful instruction to students with a variety of disabilities. Baker and Zigmond (1990) have suggested that fundamental changes in the way that classrooms are organized may be needed before inclusive education will work.
The terms least restrictive environment and mainstreaming are frequently confused. The terms are distinct and should not be used interchangeably. LRE refers to the legal principle that students with disabilities are to be educated as close as possible to the general education environment. Mainstreaming is an educational term that refers to the practice of placing students with disabilities in general education classes with appropriate instructional support (Meyen, 1990). Mainstreaming is one means of meeting the LRE requirement; but the IDEA does not require mainstreaming in all cases. The law requires that each student be educated in the environment that is the least restrictive for that student and that removal from general education occurs only when absolutely necessary.
In this article, we outline many court decisions. It may be helpful at this juncture to provide a brief overview of the federal court system. The federal system incorporates three levels of judicial review: District Courts, Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The District Court is a trier of fact trier of fact n. the judge or jury responsible for deciding factual issues in a trial. If there is no jury the judge is the trier of fact as well as the trier of the law. , and decisions of that court may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court, as the highest court in the nation, is the court of last resort. A court's decision is binding only within that court's jurisdiction; however, it will be persuasive in other jurisdictions. Thus, a decision of an appeals court has wider applicability than a decision of a district court. A decision by the Supreme Court becomes the law of the land.
EARLY COURT INTERPRETATIONS OF
THE LRE MANDATE
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its landmark Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District Hendrick Hudson Central School District is located in Westchester County, New York and is made up of five schools: three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. v. Rowley (1982) opinion, stated that to be appropriate, a special education program must be provided in the least restrictive environment (Osborne, 1992). Several early courts weighed the benefits of mainstreaming against the benefits of providing greater or more specialized services in a segregated setting in situations involving students with severe disabilities (Bonadonna v. Cooperman, 1985). Most courts held that the LRE mandate was secondary to the provision of an appropriate instructional program (Johnston v. Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, city (1990 pop. 109,592), seat of Washtenaw co., S Mich., on the Huron River; inc. 1851. It is a research and educational center, with a large number of government and industrial research and development firms, many in high-technology fields such as Public Schools, 1983). Because each student's situation is unique, it is difficult to provide general LRE guidelines. However, many of the court decisions issued in the years immediately after the passage of the IDEA in 1975 addressed the LRE mandate in terms of the degree to which a given student should be mainstreamed (Julnes & Brown, 1991).
As stated previously, the IDEA declares that students with disabilities may be removed from the general education environment only to the extent necessary to provide needed special education services. Courts had to determine if recommended services warranted removal from the general education environment or if they could be provided in a less restrictive setting. Many of the early court decisions indicated that the LRE requirement could not be used to preclude a placement in a segregated setting if that setting was required to provide the appropriate education mandated by the IDEA (Board of Education of East Windsor East Windsor is the name of the following places in the United States of America:
However, other courts held that it was appropriate to sacrifice a degree of academic quality for the sake of socialization socialization /so·cial·iza·tion/ (so?shal-i-za´shun) the process by which society integrates the individual and the individual learns to behave in socially acceptable ways.
n. . To strike the balance between the benefits of mainstreaming and specialized educational services, these courts approved a trade-off in favor of mainstreaming only if it was shown clearly that the student would benefit from the socialization available in a mainstreamed setting (Bonadonna v. Cooperman, 1985; Roncker v. Walter, 1983). One court indicated that a student should not be mainstreamed unless the mainstream program would teach the skills necessary for the student to become integrated in the mainstream of life. Ironically, the court found that a segregated program would provide the student with those skills (Visco v. School District of Pittsburgh, 1988).
Before 1989, the majority of court decisions on LRE indicated that mainstreaming was not required for all students with disabilities but must be provided, where appropriate, to the maximum extent feasible. Recognizing that mainstreaming had important social benefits, these courts held that students should not be mainstreamed solely for the sake of mainstreaming but, rather, should be mainstreamed when there was benefit to be derived from it. In balancing the need for specialized services against placement in a mainstreamed setting, early courts tipped the scales in favor of specialized services.
RECENT COURT INTERPRETATIONS
OF THE LRE MANDATE
In the past few years, LRE decisions have become more numerous. Some of these decisions allowed placements in segregated settings; however, the legal principles that emerged from these cases established the foundation for later courts to order inclusive placements. These opinions provide school officials with additional guidance on meeting their obligations under the LRE mandate. In several of the most recent cases, the courts deviated from previous case law and began to tip the scales in favor of inclusive programming for students with severe disabilities.
Placement in Neighborhood Schools Not
The LRE mandate does not require school districts to place students in their neighborhood schools in all situations. For greater efficiency, most school districts centralize cen·tral·ize
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.
2. many special education services. The courts have upheld this practice consistently. For example, a centralized program for a high school student with hearing impairments was approved by the appeals court in Barnett v. Fairfax County School Board (1991). The high school the student was required to attend was located several miles from his home. His parents objected to this arrangement and requested that a similar program be developed in his neighborhood school. The court, noting that the student was earning satisfactory grades, was participating in extracurricular activities, and was successfully mainstreamed, approved the centralized program. The court recognized the limited resources available to school districts and stated that centralized programs better served the interests of all students. Similarly, the appeals court in Schuldt v. Mankato Independent School District (1991) approved a centralized program for a student using a wheelchair, holding that the school district was not required to modify the student's neighborhood school to make it accessible.
The Fifth Circuit Establishes an LRE Test
In a decision that has been quoted frequently in other court opinions, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals provided considerable guidance on the LRE issue. In Daniel R. R. v. State Board of Education (1989), the court held that a substantially separate class was appropriate for a student with Down syndrome Down syndrome, congenital disorder characterized by mild to severe mental retardation, slow physical development, and characteristic physical features. Down syndrome affects about 1 in every 730 live births and occurs in all populations equally. who had been classified as mentally retarded Noun 1. mentally retarded - people collectively who are mentally retarded; "he started a school for the retarded"
developmentally challenged, retarded . The student previously had attended a general education classroom for part of the school day; however, the court found that this arrangement had not been successful because the student had not participated in class activities and failed to master the skills he was exposed to. The court was persuaded further by testimony indicating that the curriculum would have to be modified radically to meet the student's instructional needs and that he required so much of the teacher's time that too much attention was diverted from the rest of the class.
The three-judge panel of the appeals court stated that students with severe disabilities may be removed from the general education environment when they cannot be satisfactorily educated in that setting. The court found that the school district's proposal for a substantially separate class placement for this student did not violate the IDEA's LRE requirement. To assist lower courts with LRE decisions, the appeals court created a test for determining when a school district met its obligation to mainstream students with severe disabilities. Borrowing language from the IDEA, the appeals court stated that district courts should determine first whether education in the general classroom, with supplementary aids and services, can be achieved satisfactorily. When it cannot, and special education must be provided, the court instructed lower courts to determine whether the school district mainstreamed the student to the maximum extent appropriate. To determine the answers to this two-part test, lower courts were instructed to consider a student's ability to grasp the regular education curriculum, the nature and severity of the disability, the effect the student's presence would have on the functioning of the general education classroom, the student's overall experience in the mainstream, and the amount of exposure the special education student would have to students without disabilities.
The Fifth Circuit's two-part test has become the benchmark by which LRE cases in the past 5 years have been decided. It has been a significant factor in most of the LRE cases decided since 1989. In some of these decisions, courts have used the test to order inclusive placements for students with severe disabilities.
Decisions Allowing Segregated Settings
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in Briggs v. Board of education of Connecticut (1989), held that mainstreaming was not appropriate when the nature or severity of the student's disability was such that education in a typical classroom could not be achieved satisfactorily. This case involved a dispute over the proper placement for a preschool student with hearing impairments. School officials proposed a public preschool program for students with hearing impairments taught by a certified teacher A certified teacher is a teacher who has earned credentials from an authoritative source, such as the government, a higher education institution or a private source. These certifications allow teachers to teach in schools which require authorization in general, as well as allowing of students with this disability. The parents preferred a private preschool program attended mostly by students without disabilities, which was not taught by a certified teacher of students with hearing impairments. The district court approved the parents' choice, holding that the program offered by the school district could be provided in a less restrictive setting and that any loss of effectiveness from a specialized placement was outweighed by the benefits of mainstreaming. However, the appeals court reversed, criticizing the lower court for substituting its judgment for that of school district experts who had determined that the segregated program was best for the student. The appeals court found no evidence that would substantiate the claim that the student's needs could be met in a less restrictive environment. It is important to keep in mind here that the parents' preferred placement offered the student little in the way of specialized services, and this was a significant factor in the court's decision.
A Nebraska district court found that a student with a profound hearing loss, unintelligible UNINTELLIGIBLE. That which cannot be understood.
2. When a law, a contract, or will, is unintelligible, it has no effect whatever. Vide Construction, and the authorities there referred to. speech, severe language delays, visual impairments, and physical disabilities would not have meaningful communicative interaction with hearing individuals in a public school environment and, thus, should be educated in a state school for students who are hearing impaired rather than a public school class for students with hearing impairments. The court reasoned that the student should not be mainstreamed because he would not receive any benefit from it (French v. Omaha Public Schools Omaha Public Schools is the largest school district in the state of Nebraska. This public school district serves a diverse community of more than 46,000 students at over 80 elementary and secondary schools in Omaha, Nebraska. , 1991). Similarly, a Pennsylvania district court held that a student with hearing impairments, who had deficiencies in oral communication, could not be mainstreamed because he was unable to communicate with the hearing world (Johnson v. Lancaster-Lebanon, 1991).
In DeVries v. Fairfax County School Board (1989), the mother of an autistic autistic /au·tis·tic/ (aw-tis´tik) characterized by or pertaining to autism. student who had depressed cognitive functioning, exhibited immature behavior, had difficulty with interpersonal communication Interpersonal communication is the process of sending and receiving information between two or more people. Types of Interpersonal Communication
This kind of communication is subdivided into dyadic communication, Public speaking, and small-group communication. and relationships, and required a predictable environment, contested the school district's proposal to place the student in a county vocational center. The mother preferred a public high school placement, but the district court found that the proposed vocational program was appropriate. The appeals court agreed, concluding that the student could not be educated satisfactorily in a general education setting, even with supplementary aids and services.
In Liscio v. Woodland Hills School District Woodland Hills School District is a public school district located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, serving twelve municipalities in the Pittsburgh area; Braddock, Braddock Hills, Chalfant, Churchill, East Pittsburgh, Edgewood, Forest Hills, North Braddock, Rankin, Swissvale, (1989), the district court approved the placement of a student classified as educable educable /ed·u·ca·ble/ (ej´u-kah-b'l) capable of being educated; formerly used to refer to persons with mild mental retardation (I.Q. approximately 50–70). mentally retarded and socially and emotionally disturbed in a class located in a segregated special education center over a less restrictive setting, but ordered some mainstreaming in a public school. Previously, the student had been placed in the less restrictive program on a part-time, interim basis; however, testimony indicated that he made little academic progress in that program, was often disruptive, interfered with the operation of the class, and did not interact socially with the other students.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an individualized education program In the United States an Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an IEP, is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In Canada an equivalent document is called an Individual Education Plan. (IEP IEP
In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Irish Punt.
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion. ), for a student with learning disabilities, that called for placement in a learning disabilities class with some mainstreaming in Gillette v. Fairland Board of Education (1991). The parents of the student preferred a placement in a general education class with assistance from a learning disabilities specialist but, ironically, removed the student from the public school program and enrolled him in a private school when the dispute arose. The district court approved their action, stating that the school district had not offered sufficient mainstreaming. However, the appeals court reversed, finding that the student had a greater opportunity to interact with peers without disabilities in the public school than in the private school and that he could not be fully mainstreamed without detriment to his own education and that of his classmates Classmates can refer to either:
In Chris D. v. Montgomery County Montgomery County may refer to:
Inclined to or suggestive of violent attack: "The reduction of cinema to assaultive images ... has produced a disincarnated, lightweight cinema that doesn't demand anyone's full attention" behavior in a public school program, after finding that the student could not function academically in a school setting until his behavior was controlled. The school district had proposed either homebound instruction or instruction in an isolated room located in an administration building; however, the court held that a residential facility would be less restrictive because the student would have contact with other students there. This would better facilitate his return to the general classroom setting. In the second case, the court held that the school district's IEP, which called for a special education class placement, was not appropriate because it did not offer the student a realistic prospect of returning to the general education environment. The court found that supplementary aids and services could allow a special education student to attend classes with peers without disabilities, instead of being totally segregated in a special education classroom.
Greater Emphasis Placed on Mainstreaming
In the court cases outlined in previous sections, judges have ordered school districts to mainstream students when evidence demonstrated that an appropriate educational program could be provided in a less restrictive environment or when the benefits to be gained from mainstreaming outweighed any loss of services A deprivation of a family member, such as a parent or spouse, of the right to benefit from the performance of various duties, coupled with the privation of love and companionship, provided by the victim of a personal injury or Wrongful Death. resulting from placement in a less restrictive environment. In these decisions, however, the judges clearly viewed the LRE mandate as secondary to the provision of an appropriate education. As one court stated, mainstreaming was to be pursued as long as it was consistent with the IDEA's primary goal of providing students with an appropriate education (Carter v. Florence County Florence County is the name of several counties in the United States:
In a decision that predates the Fifth Circuit's Daniel R. R. test, the Idaho Supreme Court The Idaho Supreme Court is the state supreme court of the state of Idaho. The supreme court is composed of the chief justice and four associate justices.
The decisions of the Idaho Supreme Court are binding on all other Idaho state courts, and the only other court that may approved a placement in a general education classroom in a parochial school parochial school (pərō`kēəl), school supported by a religious body. In the United States such schools are maintained by a number of religious groups, including Lutherans, Seventh-day Adventists, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and over a special education classroom in the public schools for a student with multiple disabilities and an assessed I.Q. of 37. The parochial school was willing to accept the student as long as an aide was provided by the public schools. The school district refused to pay for the aide and offered a special education class placement. The court declared that when it accepted federal funds Federal Funds
Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve , the school district was required to accept mainstreaming to the maximum extent appropriate. The court further stated that by arguing that its segregated program was appropriate, the school district ignored Congress' intent that mainstreaming was preferable to a segregated setting, no matter how appropriate that setting might be (Thornock v. Boise Independent School District, 1988).
The district court in Greer v. Rome City School District (1990) stressed mainstreaming over special education services and allowed a 9-year-old student with Down syndrome to be mainstreamed in a general education kindergarten program for 3 years rather than be placed in the substantially separate special education class the school district recommended. The court was swayed by the fact that the student had made some progress in the kindergarten class with supplemental aids and services and was not disruptive. The student was not ready for Grade 1, but the court felt she could be adequately educated in the kindergarten classroom. Recognizing that this placement might not be appropriate in the future, the court, in a footnote, stated:
The Court's decision is based on the evidence and law as it existed at the time of trial. What the court orders done this day may not be in the best interest of [the student] - that however is not the issue. (p. 947, fn. 10)
Adopting the Fifth Circuit's LRE test, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court's decision. The appeals court stated that a school district must consider a complete range of supplemental aids and services before it can determine that a student with disabilities cannot be educated in a general education setting. This determination must be made while the IEP is being developed.
In a controversial decision that may have ushered in a new era of judicial activism Noun 1. judicial activism - an interpretation of the U.S. constitution holding that the spirit of the times and the needs of the nation can legitimately influence judicial decisions (particularly decisions of the Supreme Court)
broad interpretation in LRE cases, the federal district court in New Jersey held that a segregated special education class was not the least restrictive environment for a student with Down syndrome. The court, in Oberti v. Board of Education of the Borough of Clementon School District (1992), ruled that school districts have an affirmative obligation Affirmative Obligation
An obligation of NYSE specialists to enter the market on a particular security (either by posting or bidding and ask) when there is not sufficient market demand and supply to efficiently match orders. to consider placing students with disabilities in general education classrooms with the use of supplementary aids and services before they explore other alternatives. Citing the Fifth Circuit's test with approval, the court found that to meet the IDEA's goals, school districts must maximize mainstreaming opportunities. The court declared that the preference for mainstreaming can only be rebutted by the school district's demonstrating that the student's disabilities are so severe that he or she will receive little or no benefit from inclusion in the classroom, that he or she is so disruptive that the education of other students is impaired, or that the cost of providing supplementary services will have a negative effect on other students.
The Oberti court held that the IDEA requires school districts to supplement and realign their resources to move beyond the systems, structures, and practices that tend to unnecessarily segregate seg·re·gate
v. seg·re·gat·ed, seg·re·gat·ing, seg·re·gates
1. To separate or isolate from others or from a main body or group. See Synonyms at isolate.
2. students with disabilities. The court realized that including the student in this case in a general education classroom clearly would require a modification of the curriculum, but held that this alone was not a legitimate basis on which to justify exclusion. Strongly stating that inclusion is a right, not a privilege for a select few, the court placed ultimate responsibility on the school district to show that the student could not be educated in a general education setting with supplementary aids and services. Because the school district failed to do this, the court ordered it to develop an inclusive educational plan for the student.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's ruling in Oberti but used a slightly different reasoning. The court stated that the right to associate with peers without disabilities was a fundamental value of the right to public education and the fact that a student with disabilities may learn differently from his or her education within a general education classroom did not justify exclusion from that setting. The appeals court found that the school district could not use the student's disruptive behavior as an excuse for placing him in a segregated setting because it had failed to provide the supplementary aids and services that may have curbed any disruption.
The district court in Board of education, Sacramento City Unified School District Sacramento City Unified School District's' main office is located at the Serna Center in Sacramento, California, USA.
The district has been serving most of the city of Sacramento for over 150 years. Sacramento High School opened in 1856. v. Holland (1992) stated that the IDEA's presumption in favor of mainstreaming requires placement in a general education classroom if the student can receive a satisfactory education there, even if it is not the best academic setting for the student. Referring to the Greer and Daniel R. R. decisions, the court emphasized that a student can be placed in a special education class only if the student cannot receive a satisfactory education in the general education class with appropriate support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services . The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision, adopting the district court's analysis. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. these decisions, four factors should be considered in LRE decisions: the educational benefit a student will derive from placement in a general education environment, the nonacademic benefits of placement in a general education setting, the effect the student will have on other students in the class, and the cost of supplementary aids and services.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Congress enacted the IDEA in 1975 to provide access to the public schools to students with disabilities to provide them with an equal educational opportunity (Osborne, 1988). The LRE clause was included to end the practice of segregating special education students either by educating them in special facilities or relegating them to classes in remote areas of the school building. The IDEA provided countless students with disabilities access to educational services that had previously been unavailable, and the LRE provision allowed many to be mainstreamed into general education classes. However, a review of court cases indicates that students with severe disabilities historically have not enjoyed the same access to the general education environment as those with mild to moderate disabilities. That situation may be changing.
When deciding disputes over placement recommendations, courts have had to balance the equities between an appropriate level of specialized services and an appropriate level of mainstreaming. Recognizing the importance of providing students with disabilities with as many opportunities as possible to interact with their peers, initially the courts were reluctant to order mainstreaming at the expense of a quality education. Given the predominant organizational structure in today's school systems, courts have tried to avoid creating a situation where a student received so much mainstreaming and so little specialized instruction that the total program was rendered ineffective.
The courts realized that the critical issue in special education placement decisions was the provision of a free appropriate public education. Mainstreaming was recognized as one of many components of that appropriate education, but it was not elevated to the status of being the primary consideration in a placement decision. Early courts took a cautious approach in decisions involving mainstreaming students with severe disabilities, generally showing a reluctance to substitute their views of proper educational methodology for that of the professional educators whose placement decisions they reviewed. This was especially true in the early LRE cases, where the courts exercised considerable judicial restraint Judicial restraint is a theory of judicial interpretation that encourages judges to limit the exercise of their own power. It asserts that judges should hesitate to strike down laws unless they are obviously unconstitutional. . In most of these cases, the jurists The following lists are of prominent jurists, including judges, listed in alphabetical order by jurisdiction. See also list of lawyers. Antiquity
However, some recent court decisions indicate that a trend toward greater inclusion has emerged. The language of the IDEA suggests that Congress envisioned an educational system whereby all students, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, would be educated in an environment as close as possible to what is considered to be normal. It may be inferred that Congress intended the IDEA to spur an overall restructuring of school systems so that students with severe disabilities would be educated within the general education setting (Osborne, DiMattia, & Curran, 1993). This has occurred to a large extent for students with mild to moderate disabilities, but has not become reality for many students with severe disabilities (Danielson & Bellamy, 1989; York & Vandercook, 1990). At this writing, four appeals courts, with jurisdiction over a total of 18 states, have issued decisions favoring the inclusion of students with severe disabilities in general education classrooms under appropriate circumstances. These decisions clearly indicate that an inclusionary placement must be the placement of choice and that a student with disabilities may be excluded from a general education setting only in the face of strong evidence that the student cannot be satisfactorily educated in that setting.
Students with disabilities may not be excluded from a general education classroom simply because it is easier to educate them in a segregated setting. The fact that they may require a different curriculum or may not easily keep up with the rest of the class is not sufficient cause for exclusion. Also, when considering an inclusionary placement, school officials must be cognizant of the fact that the nonacademic benefits a student may receive can be equally as important as the academic benefits.
The recent LRE decisions do not mandate that all students with disabilities must be educated in general education classrooms. These decisions indicate that school districts would be justified in excluding students after good-faith efforts to include the student proved unsuccessful. For example, if a student continued to be disruptive and negatively affected the education of other students after sufficient support services were provided, a school district would be justified in excluding that student. These decisions also indicate that cost considerations also may be a factor and that school districts would be justified in excluding a student if the cost of necessary supplementary aids and services was excessive. However, the courts have not answered the question of how much would be excessive. This question will likely be decided by future litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. .
The cases cited here certainly have not settled the issue. More lawsuits are likely. Until now, most of the LRE lawsuits have involved a single student. In the future, we may witness class action suits similar to those in the 1970s that provided the impetus for the passage of the IDEA (Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1972; Mills v. Board of Education, 1972). If successful, class action litigation could force school officials to develop new strategies for the inclusion of students with severe disabilities - strategies such as those called for by the Oberti court.
The days where judges will defer to the expertise of school officials regarding what constitutes the least restrictive environment may be over. The decisions of the courts in the Greer, Holland, and Oberti lawsuits may be an indication that some courts are growing impatient because the LRE mandate has not been fully implemented. These courts have started a trend toward judicially ordered mainstreaming that other courts may find persuasive. In these cases, however, the courts found that the school districts involved had not made reasonable attempts to include the students in the general education environment. Judges would look more favorably on a school district that had attempted to include a student, but had found that it was not feasible. That is what the Fifth Circuit found in Daniel R. R.
The ultimate goal of special education is to enable students with disabilities to become productive citizens. Regardless of their level of skill attainment, people with disabilities cannot be productive citizens if they are unable to function within the work force. Mainstreaming helps students develop the interpersonal skills "Interpersonal skills" refers to mental and communicative algorithms applied during social communications and interactions in order to reach certain effects or results. The term "interpersonal skills" is used often in business contexts to refer to the measure of a person's ability necessary to function effectively in the workplace as it prepares other individuals to accept those with disabilities in society. In the nearly two decades since IDEA was passed, philosophy, theory, and technology in general and special education have changed. As schools are reformed and restructured, students with disabilities should have greater opportunities for inclusion. When service delivery systems are redesigned, school officials must do so with consideration for the students with severe disabilities. In this respect, training of classroom teachers is of paramount importance. The right to appropriate levels of instruction is equally as important as the right to be educated in a mainstream setting.
The time has come for school districts to restructure their general education classrooms to accommodate students with severe disabilities. If school districts do not take the initiative to restructure their educational programs so that the LRE mandate can be implemented fully, they may be forced to do so under court orders.
Baker, J. M., & Zigmond, N. (1990). Are regular education classes equipped to accommodate students with learning disabilities? Exceptional Children, 56, 515-526. Barnett v. Fairfax County School Board, 927 F.2d 146, 66 Ed.Law Rep. 64 (4th Cir. 1991). Board of Education of East Windsor v. Diamond, 808 F.2d 987, 36 Ed.Law Rep. 1136 (3d Cir. 1986). Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 102 S. Ct. 3034, 73 L.Ed.2d 690, 5 Ed.Law Rep. 34 (1982). Board of Education, Sacramento City Unified School District v. Holland, 786 F. Supp. 874, 73 Ed.Law Rep. 969 (E.D. Cal. 1992); affirmed sub nom. Sacramento City Unified School District, Board of Education v. Rachel H., 14 F.3d 1398, 89 Ed.Law Rep. 57 (9th Cir. 1994). Bonadonna v. Cooperman, 619 F. Supp. 401, 28 Ed.Law Rep. 430 (D.N.J. 1985). Briggs v. Board of Education of Connecticut, 882 F.2d 688, 55 Ed.Law Rep. 423 (2d Cir. 1989). Carter v. Florence County School District, 950 F.2d 156, 71 Ed.Law Rep. 633 (4th Cir. 1991); affirmed on other grounds sub nom. Florence County School District v. Carter, 114 S. Ct. 361, 86 Ed.Law Rep. 41 (1993). Chris D. v. Montgomery County Board of Education, 743 F. Supp. 1524, 62 Ed.Law Rep. 1001 (M.D. Ala. 1990); 753 F. Supp. 922, 65 Ed.Law Rep. 355 (M.D. Ala. 1990). Danielson, L. C., & Bellamy, G. T. (1989). State variation in placement of children with handicaps in segregated environments. Exceptional Children, 55, 448-455. Daniel R. R. v. State Board of Education, 874 F.2d 1036, 53 Ed.Law Rep. 824 (5th Cir. 1989). DeVries v. Fairfax County School Board, 882 F.2d 876, 55 Ed.Law Rep. 442 (4th Cir. 1989). Dubow, S. (1989). Into the turbulent mainstream - A legal perspective on the weight to be given to the least restrictive environment in placement decisions for deaf children. Journal of Law and Education, 18, 215-228. French v. Omaha Public Schools, 766 F. Supp. 765, 68 Ed.Law Rep. 630 (D. Neb. 1991). Gillette v. Fairland Board of Education, 932 F.2d 551, 67 Ed.Law Rep. 510 (6th Cir. 1991). Greer v. Rome City School District, 762 F. Supp. 936, 67 Ed.Law Rep. 666 (N.D. Ga. 1990); affirmed 950 F.2d 688, 71 Ed.Law Rep. 647 (11th Cir. 1991); withdrawn 956 F.2d 1025, 73 Ed.Law Rep. 34 (11th Cir. 1992); reinstated 967 F.2d 470, 76 Ed.Law Rep. 26 (11th Cir. 1992). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), U. S. C., Title 20, [subsection] 1400 et seq et seq. (et seek) n. abbreviation for the Latin phrase et sequentes meaning "and the following." It is commonly used by lawyers to include numbered lists, pages or sections after the first number is stated, as in "the rules of the road are found in Vehicle Code . Formerly titled the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, originally enacted as P.L. 94-142 (1975). Johnson v. Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, 757 F. Supp. 606, 66 Ed.Law Rep. 227 (E.D. Pa. 1991). Johnston v. Ann Arbor Public Schools, 569 F. Supp. 1502, 13 Ed.Law Rep. 680 (E.D. Mich. 1983). Julnes, R., & Brown, S. (1991). Least restrictive environment: The legal mandate and practice implications. Law and Education Desk Notes, 1(1), 1-45. Lachman v. Illinois State Board of Education, 852 F.2d 290, 48 Ed.Law Rep. 105 (7th Cir. 1988). Liscio v. Woodland Hills School District, 734 F. Supp. 689, 60 Ed.Law Rep. 47 (W.D. Pa. 1989); affirmed 902 F.2d 1561, 60 Ed.Law Rep. 1083 (3d Cir. 1990). Matthews v. Campbell, 551 EHLR EHLR East Hayling Light Railway
EHLR Education for the Handicapped Law Reporter (now Individuals with Disabilities Law Reporter)
EHLR Edge Hill Light Railway (UK) 264 (E.D. Va. 1979). Meyen, E. L. (1990). Exceptional children in today's schools. Denver: Love Publishing Co. Mills v. Board of Education, 348 F. Supp. 866 (D.D.C. 1972). Oberti v. Board of Education of the Borough of Clementon School District, 789 F. Supp. 1322, 75 Ed.Law Rep. 258, (D.N.J. 1992); 801 F. Supp. 1393 (D.N.J. 1992); affirmed 995 F.2d 1204, 83 Ed.Law Rep. 1009 (3d Cir. 1993). Osborne, A. G. (1988). Complete legal guide to special education services. West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing Co. Osborne, A. G. (1992). Legal standards for an appropriate education in the post-Rowley era. Exceptional Children, 58, 488-494. Osborne, A. G., DiMattia, P., & Curran, F. X. (1993). Effective management of special education programs. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Teachers College Press. Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 343 F. Supp. 279 (E.D. Pa. 1972). Rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. Act, #504, U. S. C., Title 29, #794. Roncker v. Walter, 700 F.2d 1058, 9 Ed.Law Rep. 827 (6th Cir. 1983). Schuldt v. Mankato Independent School District, 937 F.2d 1357, 68 Ed.Law Rep. 968 (8th Cir. 1991). St. Louis Developmental Disabilities Center v. Mallory, 591 F.Supp. 1416, 20 Ed. Law Rep. 133 (W.D. Mo. 1984). Thornock v. Boise Independent School District, 767 P.2d 1241, 52 Ed.Law Rep. 272 (Idaho 1988). Visco v. School District of Pittsburgh, 684 F.Supp. 1310, 47 Ed.Law Rep. 142 (W.D. Pa. 1988). Wilson v. Marana Unified School District, 735 F.2d 1178, 18 Ed.Law Rep. 197 (9th Cir. 1984). York, J., & Vandercook, T. (1990). Strategies for achieving an integrated education The Integrated Education movement in Northern Ireland is an attempt to bring together children, parents and teachers from both Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions, the aim being to provide a balanced education, while allowing the opportunity to understand and respect all for middle school students with severe disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 11(5), 6-16.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ALLAN G. OSBORNE, JR. (CEC (Central Electronic Complex) The set of hardware that defines a mainframe, which includes the CPU(s), memory, channels, controllers and power supplies included in the box. Some CECs, such as IBM's Multiprise 2000 and 3000, include data storage devices as well. MA Federation) Assistant Principal, Snug Harbor Community School, Quincy, Massachusetts Quincy is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. It bears the nicknames "The City of Presidents," "City of Legends," "Birthplace of the American Dream." A major part of Metropolitan Boston, Quincy is a member of Boston's Inner Core Committee for the Metropolitan , and Visiting Associate Professor, Bridgewater State College History
BSC was founded by Derek Stukey as a normal school styled Bridgewater Normal School. One of the first normal schools in the nation, its initial mission was to train school teachers. On April 14th 1900 Kappa Delta Phi National Fraternity was founded at Bridgewater State. , Bridgewater, Massachusetts Bridgewater is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 28 miles (43 km) south of Boston. At the 2000 Census, the population was 25,185.
For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Bridgewater, please see the article Bridgewater (CDP), . PHILIP DIMATTIA (CEC MA Federation) Director of Boston College Boston College, main campus at Chestnut Hill, Mass.; coeducational; Jesuit; est. and opened 1863. Actually a university, the school's Chestnut Hill campus comprises colleges of arts and sciences and business administration, the graduate school, and schools of nursing Campus School, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Located six miles west of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, Chestnut Hill is a wealthy suburban village notable for its stately old houses, scenic landscape, and the historic campus of Boston College. , and Associate Professor, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Address correspondence to Allan G. Osborne, Jr., 94 Acorn Street, Millis, MA 02054.
Manuscript received March 1993; revision accepted May 1994.