Public schools in Pennsylvania have a legal requirement to provide special education to students with disabilities who need them. There are both federal and state laws that work together in order to allow these students to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) ensures that all children with disabilities have a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and that the rights of such children and their parents are protected. It also aligns to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
Section 504 of this civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Under this law, a student with a disability is entitled to have equal access to an education.
Pennsylvania has a State Board of Education which has the authority to create and revise regulations related to school and education issues. They are indexed in the PA Code, Title 22, Education. Each chapter provides the regulations on one topic.
These are the state’s regulations on the school’s responsibility to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities. This chapter adopts many of the federal regulations in IDEA, but also includes regulations that are specific to Pennsylvania.
This chapter is similar to Chapter 14; however it applies to students with disabilities who are in a charter or cyber charter school.
These regulations are based on Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and apply to students who have a disability but do not qualify for special education services under Chapter 14.
These are the state’s regulations for education of gifted students.
This chapter establishes the state’s academic standards and assessment in order to improve student achievement. High school graduation requirements are included.
This chapter includes regulations on admission to school, attendance, absences, and excusals from school.
These regulations address students’ rights and responsibilities, including exclusions from school (suspension and expulsion).