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Special Education

Special education is a broad term that describes the education of students who have intellectual, physical, behavioral or emotional disabilities. Special education involves specially designed instruction tailored to the unique needs of each child, and is provided at no cost to parents. The federal law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures services to children with disabilities throughout the nation.

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

Administrative Rules of Special Education

Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP)

Each and Every Child Newsletter

The world of special education is complex, challenging and, when done well, enormously satisfying for the educator, parent - and, especially, the student. Each and Every Child is a newsletter aimed at this particular audience, designed to inform, educate and challenge those who live and work within this field. Our overriding goal is to end the achievement gap in the state of Iowa. After all, each and every child deserves the very best education.

Assessment and Testing

Students with disabilities may be provided with accommodations that give them access to the general education curriculum and its assessments. Some students with disabilities participate in alternate forms of assessment in order to demonstrate learning.

Dispute Resolution

The IDEA of 2004 offers several avenues for parents, AEAs, and districts to resolve issues around special education.


Special Education provides funding sources and requirements.

Iowa's Guidance for Quality Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

This area of the DE website provides information for Iowa’s special education practitioners. It is hoped that by using the information on this website, Iowa’s special education practitioners will be able to lead teams as they develop IEPs that will positively direct the education of all the students in Iowa with special education needs. Contents include both regulatory and best practice information about various topics surrounding the development of effective quality IEPs that are compliant with IDEA.

Parent Information

Links to information for families and parents about special education programs and services. Links include Parental Rights under the IDEA 2004 and The Special Education Eligibility Standards required for determining a child's entitlement for special education services and programs.

Programs and Services

Special education support for students with disabilities is provided through special education services and programs.

State Guidance

Information regarding special education topics and issues.

State Requirements and Reports

These links provide access to the most recent applications, policies, and reports required by IDEA 2004.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 25, 2018 at 10:17pm.