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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) is our nation’s special education law. The IDEA was initially enacted by Congress in 1975 and named the Education for All Handicapped Children Act or Public Law 94-142. This law was created to ensure that children with disabilities receive the same educational rights as their nondisabled peers. The law has been revised over the years with the most recent reauthorization IDEA 2004 signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 3, 2004. The new regulations in IDEA 2004 went into effect on October 13, 2006.

Parents and school districts are encouraged to work together to resolve issues regarding a student’s exceptional student education (ESE) needs. When concerns or disagreements regarding a student’s exceptional educational needs arise, it is helpful for the parent to immediately speak with the student’s teacher, guidance counselor, staffing specialist, or school principal. It is often necessary to convene the IEP Team to work through concerns and come to resolution in the best interest of the child.

After working with the school team to address concerns, parents who feel they were unable to resolve the concerns, should contact the district’s ESE office to request assistance.

The following administrative remedies are also available options for parents through the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services and are described in the documents in the right hand tool bar.

  • Mediation

  • State Complaint

  • Due Process Hearing Request

To contact the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services please call (850) 245-0476.