California Education Code (section 56031) defines special education as:
Specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of Individuals With Exceptional Needs (IWENs), whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the general instruction program; and
Related services, which are needed to assist IWENS benefit from specially designed instruction. Special education is an integral part of the total public education system. Other features of special education are:
- That services be provided in a way that promotes maximum interaction between students with and without disabilities in a manner which is appropriate to the needs of both.
- That services are provided at no cost to parents.
- Special education provides a full range of program options to meet the educational and service requirements of individuals with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE).