Special Education

Adopted March 1983 – Reaffirmed April 2015 – Education Commission

The California State PTA believes:

  • All individuals with exceptional needs should receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment; this placement will include appropriate services ensuring access to the core curriculum, based on individual needs;
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEP) should be developed on the basis of the needs of the individual student. The accurate assessment of each student’s English, native language, and academic skills is necessary to ensure placement in the program that best meets the educational needs of the students;
    • The goal of the IEP should be to provide each student with the academic, vocational and living skills necessary to be a productive and independent adult;
    • The IEP team should determine the appropriate program placement, necessary related services, and which curriculum options to offer;
    • The general education teacher should be part of the IEP team;
    • The school district or the county office of education should provide transportation necessary to meet individual needs as determined in the IEP;
  • Parents have the right, obligation and responsibility to be fully involved prior to and throughout the entire process;
    • Parent permission must be secured before testing and for assessment evaluations or placement changes in the student’s program;
    • Parents must be notified in writing of and given every opportunity to attend all IEP meetings and reviews, and must receive a copy of the complete IEP;
  • All teachers and school site personnel should be trained and sensitive to the special needs of exceptional students;
  • Funding for non-educational needs of special education students should come from sources other than educational dollars. The California State PTA further believes it is essential for the Legislature to appropriate adequate resources to fully fund all mandated special programs and services.

† See related position statement: Funding of Mandated Programs: Effect on Public Education. Also see summaries of related National PTA Position Statements: Education of Children With Disabilities–1994; Education for Handicapped Students–1991; Children with Special Needs–1989; Physical Education and Sports Programs for Children with Developmental Disabilities–1990. These are found under the Citizenship and Equality of Opportunity Section III Legislative/Advocacy of the Quick-Reference Guide from National PTA.

†† Transition is defined as the acquisition of skills necessary to develop the most independent and productive lifestyle an individual may be capable of achieving.

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