What is the IDEA Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a nationwide law that makes free, appropriate public education available to eligible children with disabilities, and ensures special education and related services to those children. The Act governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
IDEA Law20 U.S. Code § 1400: "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."
IDEA Part B dictates the special education and related services for children and youth ages 3 to 21
IDEA Part C entails the early intervention services provided to families and their infants and toddlers from birth to age 2
Additionally, the IDEA authorizes:
- Formula grants to states to support special education and related services and early intervention services.
- Discretionary grants to state educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other nonprofit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology development, personnel preparation and development, and parent-training and -information centers.
Congress reauthorized the IDEA in 2004 and most recently amended the IDEA through Public Law 114-95, the Every Student Succeeds Act, in December 2015.
State Advisory Panel
Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that an advisory group be established for both Part B & Part C of IDEA. These advisory groups are made up of individuals such as parents of students with disabilities, providers, private and public charter school representatives, and individuals with disabilities.
Meetings currently take place remotely and a link to the meeting may be obtained by contacting Artulean McKenna at Artulean.McKenna@maine.gov. Panel appointments are made over the summer, with regularly scheduled meetings beginning in September.
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