Dear Colleague Letter - Least Restrictive Environments - January 9, 2017
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) related to Preschool Least Restrictive Environment. The letter reaffirms the position of the U.S. Department of Education (ED or Department) that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs where they are provided with individualized and appropriate supports to enable them to meet high expectations. The guidance provided in the DCL covers: Key Statutory and Regulatory Requirements, Preschool Placement Options, Reporting Educational Environments Data for Preschool Children with Disabilities, and Use of IDEA Part B Funds for Preschool Children with Disabilities. Much of the information provided is reaffirming OSEP’s guidance from the past but we have included new clarification around definitions, data collection, and funding.