IDEA 2004

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is our nation's special education law. Below you'll find important information about IDEA 2004, which went into effect on July 1, 2005.

IDEA was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 to make sure that children with disabilities had the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children. The law has been revised many times over the years. The most recent amendments were passed by Congress in December 2004. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2005, guides how states and school districts provide special education and related services to more than six million eligible children with disabilities.

There are no regulations yet on how IDEA 2004 will be implemented. These regulations are expected in the fall. In the meantime, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and more than 55 national organizations, as well as technical assistance providers, and state and local organizations and agencies, have collaborated to create IDEA Partnership, a web site that provides the latest information and resources on IDEA 2004.

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Reading Rockets (2005)


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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase