Are We Moving Toward Educating Students With Disabilities in Less Restrictive Settings?

McLeskey, James; Landers, Eric; Williamson, Pamela; Hoppey, David
November 2012
Journal of Special Education;Nov2012, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p131
Academic Journal
The least restrictive environment (LRE) mandate provides a preference for educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms while allowing separate class services as necessary to meet student needs. This study investigated changes in national LRE placement trends for students with disabilities from 1990-1991 through 2007-2008. Findings revealed a significant increase in placements in general education settings and a substantial decrease in more restrictive placements. Placement practices for students at the secondary level changed substantially more than placements for elementary students, although both groups moved toward significantly less restrictive placement practices. Students with learning disabilities accounted for much of the overall change in placement practices, whereas students with emotional or behavioral disorders and intellectual disabilities experienced smaller changes in less restrictive placements.


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