Information About Special Education Upon Entry to School
Chapter 434 of the Laws of 2014
Section 4402 of the Education Law requires public schools to notify every parent or person in parental relation of their rights regarding referral and evaluation of their child for the purposes of special education services or programs upon their child’s enrollment in school.
A Parent's Guide to Special Education provides information for parents, guardians, and other family members about laws, regulations, and policies affecting special education programs and services for children ages three to 21. The guide is available in English and Spanish.
The Office of Special Education within the State Education Department's Office of P-12 Education provides additional information and resources to help parents and caregivers meet their child's needs.
Visit this page for the name and contact information of the Master Educator of Inclusion and Special Education Department Leader (if applicable) at your child's school.
Special Education Law Timeline
Elementary & Secondary Education Act - April 11, 1965
This act supports initiatives helping low-income families access high-quality education programs, and applies to children who need additional support to benefit from public school education programs.
Education for All Handicapped Children Act - November 30, 1975
This law requires states to provide a free and appropriate public education for children with disabilities, created individualized education programs, and defines “least restrictive environment.”
Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments - October 8, 1968
These amendments require states to extend free and appropriate education to children with disabilities for ages 3 to 5, and established early intervention programs for children with disabilities age birth to 2.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - October 30, 1990
This act established ‘people first’ language referring to people with disabilities, and extended special education services.
No Child Left Behind - January 8, 2002
This covers a range of policy changes in education, including the expectation that adequate yearly progress will be made - regardless of disability and other factors.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act - December 3, 2004
This act raised standards for special education teacher licensure, aims to prevent disproportionate representation of students in special education, and extended the age to 21 for children with special needs to get education services.