Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) | Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant

  • In a letter to his future teacher, a student explains how the teacher can best support him in his learning.

    The purpose of this federal entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.
    The priorities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004) are to:
    1. ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;
    2. ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;
    3. assist states, localities, educational service agencies, and federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities; and
    4. assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to education children with disabilities.
    5. (34 CFR § 300.1; authority: 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d).)
    Funds available are intended to serve eligible students with special education services and activities deemed essential for students' success in school. Services and activities supported by this grant for students ages 3 through 21 must ensure compliance with state special education laws and regulations and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004). 
    For more information, please see publications and resources from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s publications and the Department of Education

IDEA Fast Facts

  • Funder: Federal grant passed through the State
    Award Amount: $18,043,540
    Time Period: 1 year
    Number of Students Served: 11,000
    Schools Served: districtwide
    Program Manager: Kristen Daley



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     Click to submit feedback to the Office of Federal and State Grants

Special Education at the Boston Public Schools

  • Please visit the Office of Special Education and Student Services webpage for more information. 
    One in five BPS students has a disability. To help every child succeed, our Office of Special Education and Student Services focuses on academic outcomes, aspirations for our students and regulatory compliance. Today, we are providing our students with more stability and continuity, new opportunities for inclusion and higher-quality programs that are aligned with district efforts to help all our students reach a high standard.
    Federal law guarantees every student the right to a free and appropriate public education regardless of handicap or disability. State law (CMR 28) further guarantees the right to an education in the “least restrictive environment.” That means in typical classroom settings with students without disabilities.
    • Every Boston public school offers Resource/Learning Center services. These programs provide specialized instruction for up to 10 students in an instructional period.
    • Many Boston public schools offer services in a substantially separate setting. These programs provide specialized instruction to between 8 and 12 students in an instructional setting.
    • A number of Boston Public Schools offer services to students with significant disabilities. These programs range in enrollment from 6 to 10 students.
    • Three special schools serve students with disabilities: the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Carter Development Center for students with significant cognitive delays, and the McKinley Schools for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities.
    If you believe that your child is having difficulty making progress in a regular classroom due to a disability, you have the right to an evaluation of your child to find out if he or she has a disability and is eligible for special education services. Ask the principal/headmaster or Evaluation Team Facilitator (ETF) for this evaluation.