What is Special Education?
Special education is instruction that is specific to meet the needs of students with disabilities. When a student has been found eligible, special education and related services are provided in public school at no cost to the parent. Special Education comes from IDEA, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
After a student has been evaluated and found to be eligible for special education services, a team of educators and parents meet to develop an Individual Education Program (IEP) for the student. This plan will include goals and objectives as well as classroom and testing accommodations. Any necessary related services will also be included. For more information, click on the link to read All About IEPs.
Any time a student is struggling in school, parents or school staff may raise the question as to whether a special education evaluation may be necessary. A referral conference will be scheduled and held to decide if special ed testing is needed at this time. If the decision is yes, then parents will be asked to consent for the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, all results will be shared with the IEP team. Based on the assessment results, the IEP team will determine eligibility for special education services. For more information, cllck on the link to read about the basic steps in special education.
When a child is referred for Special Education and annually thereafter, parents are provided a copy of their Procedural Safeguards or “Parent’s Rights”.
In working as a team to make decisions about your child, there may be times where disagreement arises. It is important to utilize all options to come to consensus for the best interest of your child. Always ask for an IEP conference to discuss your concerns. Contact the Special Education Office at 501-847-5660 to request that a supervisor attend your meeting with you. Here is more information on what to do when the team is struggling.
Parent Group Contact Information:
Arkansas Disability Coalition
1501 North University, Suite 268
Little Rock, AR 72207
(800) 223-1330 (V/TTY)
Arkansas Department of Education – 501-682-4221
Other Resources for Parents: