The law requires that students with disabilities be educated along with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the students with disabilities. This means that students with disabilities must be assigned to regular courses or classes if the students’ needs can be met there. Also, decisions on academic placement must be based on an individual student’s needs.
Students with disabilities may be placed in a separate class or facility only if they cannot be educated satisfactorily in the regular educational setting with the use of supplementary aids and services. For example, students who are blind may be assisted by readers or may use Braille equipment or specially equipped computer equipment and remain in the regular classrooms. However, students with severe learning disabilities may be assigned to special education classes for part of the day.
Schools that do not offer the special educational programs or facilities that may be required by a student with disabilities may refer that student to another school or educational institution. However, the student’s home district remains responsible for providing the student a free and appropriate education. Transportation must be provided at no greater cost than would be incurred if the student were placed in the home district.