INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2004
All school age children in America are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in accordance with the Individuals with Disability Education Improvement Act of 2004.
The first Congressional finding is: FINDINGS. - Congress finds the following:
‘‘(1) Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
The purposes requiring the legislation are stated as follows:
(1)(A) to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;
(B) to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected; and
(C) to assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;
(2) to assist States in the implementation of a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families;
(3) to ensure that educators and parents have the necessary tools to improve educational results for children with disabilities by supporting system improvement activities; coordinated research and personnel preparation; coordinated technical assistance, dissemination, and support; and technology development and media services; and
(4) to assess, and ensure the effectiveness of, efforts to educate children with disabilities.
- US Department of Education IDEA 2004 Web Site
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):
Analysis of Changes Made by P.S. 108-446
- Conference Report on H.R. 1350 -- (House of Representatives - November 17, 2004)
The law also ensures that children with a disability have available to them the programs and services that are necessary to offer the opportunity for a meaningful education and significant learning.
The Act is largely procedural in nature, and thus it is important that boards of education understand what is required in order that each child with a disability receive FAPE. It is just as important that parents also fully appreciate their child’s rights.
The district must seek out, identify, and refer children who potentially have a disability, consistent with the criteria set out in the law. Thereafter, and if warranted, the child is classified, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. The Child Study Team, also referred to as the IEP Team, is the group of individuals who are responsible for the development, review and revision of the student’s IEP. The law specifically enumerates how the parent is involved, and sets forth all procedural rights.
In New Jersey, IDEA is implemented through the New Jersey Administrative Code, 6A:14-1.1 et seq