What does the law say about the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)?
IDEA states that every public agency (including public schools and districts) is required to ensure that:
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled; and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (P.L. 108-44 20 USC 1412 (5) (B))
For more, see our article Placement Options and the Least Restrictive Environment.