Appropriate versus Least Restrictive: Educational Policies and Students with Disabilities

James C. Raines, Jim Raines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores two principles of educational policy—appropriate education and least-restrictive environment—within the context of the current debate about how to integrate students with disabilities into public education. The origins of exclusion are reviewed, and the foundations of inclusion are traced back to the civil rights movement. Three very different approaches toward integration are explained, relevant legislation is reviewed, and recent court decisions are surveyed to identify principles for the implementation of educational policy. The three approaches are then evaluated for their effect on students with and without disabilities. Finally, several practical applications are identified for school social workers.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalChildren and schools
StatePublished - Apr 1996


  • Social Work
  • Political Science
  • Curriculum and Instruction

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