Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

By federal law, schools must provide

  • an “Appropriate” education
  • in the Least Restrictive Environment
  • Least Restrictive Environments (Continuum of Services)
    • General Education Classroom full day
    • Pull-outs (resource room, consultant teacher, academic support, etc.)
    • Student is educated in spec. ed. classroom for partial day
    • Student educated in special ed. classroom for entire day.
    • Separate schools for specific types of disabilities
    • Residential facility
    • Homebound or Hospital placement

(5) Least restrictive environment.–

(A) In general.–To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities… are educated with children who are not disabled, 

  • and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs 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.

                                                                Statute: TITLE I / B / 612 / a / 5

(c) Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if not disabled;


(d) In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs;