Administrative Letter: Clarification Concerning Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Administrative Letter: #22
Policy Code: BGE
To: Public School Administrators, Special Ed. Directors
From: A. Pender Makin, Acting Commissioner
Date: January 31, 2019
Subject: Clarification Concerning Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

To assist and support school districts in their diligent work to document student Individual Education Plans (IEP), Maine Department of Education is providing clarification concerning least restrictive environment (LRE) and the calculation of the percentage of time that a child is with non-disabled peers (Section 9 of the IEP).

The information in this letter is our best guidance. It has been reviewed by our legal team in the Office of the Attorney General and has been confirmed by the federal Office of Special Education Programs.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

The time during which a child receives instruction within the regular education setting is to be considered as non-special education time in the LRE calculation.  The physical location of the child’s program dictates the regular education setting calculation regardless of the type of instruction he or she may be receiving (special or regular education).  If the child is receiving special education services outside of the regular education setting, that amount of time should continue to be considered as time away from non-disabled children.

Further questions may be directed to the Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services at 207-624-6713.