IDEIA ’04 & IEP Development

The Purpose of the Educational System

“Each child is unique person, with unique needs, and the purpose of the education system of this state is to enable each child to develop all of his or her own potential.” California Education Code, Section 33080

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)?

IDEA is a federal law that requires school districts to provide a “free appropriate public education” (in English, referred to as FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities. A free appropriate public education means that special education and related services are to be provided as described in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and under public supervision to your child at no cost to you.

U.S. Department of Education: About IDEA

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. In the law, Congress states:

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. - U.S. Department of Education: About IDEA

The stated purpose of the IDEA is:

  • to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;
  • to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected;
  • to assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;
  • to assist States in the implementation of a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families;
  • to ensure that educators and parents have the necessary tools to improve educational results for children with disabilities by supporting system improvement activities; coordinated research and personnel preparation; coordinated technical assistance, dissemination, and support; and technology development and media services;
  • to assess, and ensure the effectiveness of, efforts to educate children with disabilities.

Learn more about the IDEA Statute and Regulations.

Search the IDEA Statute and Regulations.

What is the Notice of Procedural Safeguards?

This information provides you as parents, legal guardians, and surrogate parent/guardians of children with disabilities from three (3) years of age through age twenty-one (21) and students who have reached age eighteen (18), the age of majority, with an overview of your educational rights or procedural safeguards.

The Notice of Procedural Safeguards is required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (in English, referred to as IDEA) and must be provided to you:

  • When you ask for a copy
  • The first time your child is referred for a special education assessment
  • Each time you are given an assessment plan to evaluate your child
  • Upon receipt of the first state or due process complaint in a school year, and
  • When the decision is made to make a removal that constitutes a change of placement
    20 USC 1415[d]; 34 CFR 300.504; EC 56301[d] [2], EC 56321, and 56341.1[g] [1]

Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards

Parents and Guardians of students with disabilities are afforded rights in the special education process.  A full copy of the Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards document is offered to families at each annual Individual Education Plan meeting, and parents and guardians may ask any IEP team member questions about the process along the way.  The English and Spanish documents are located here in full and are also on the CDE website.  Some SELPAs have been willing to share translations in other languages to be housed here.

Information Management System Services

SELPA staff is available to support Districts in the use of the Special Education Information System (SEIS). SEIS is the main information system for tracking all special education information/data required for state and federal reporting.

CALPADS Primary Disability Category Codes

California Department of Education CALPADS Primary Disability Category Codes