education law

separation of church and state

A phrase most famously used by Supreme Court Justice Black in the case of Everson v. Board of Education. In discussing the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, Justice Black said that the clause erected a "wall of separation between church and state." He explained that this means, among other things, that the government cannot participate in the affairs of a religious group, set up a church, aid or prefer one religion over another, or aid or prefer religion over nonreligion.

least restrictive environment

A requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that school districts place disabled children in the classroom setting that best meets their individual needs, rather than automatically assume that a special class or school is the best option. In many cases, the least restrictive environment, or LRE, is a regular classroom with nondisabled children (also known as mainstreaming), with additional services provided to help the disabled child succeed at school.

Individualized Education Program

The process provided under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to evaluate the educational needs of and develop an academic plan for students with disabilities. It refers both to 1) the meetings where the school district determines whether or not a child is eligible for special education services and if so, the plan for the coming year, and 2) the annual detailed written description of the program and services to help children with special needs succeed in school.

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