An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a requirement for every "public school child who receives special education and related services," according to the U.S. Department of Education. "The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability."
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that a free and appropriate public education is available to eligible children with disabilities. Special education applies to children and youth ages 3 through 21.
An IEP should include information about these areas, according to the Department of Education: current performance; annual goals; special education and related services; participation with nondisabled children; participation in state and district-wide tests; dates and places; transition service needs; needed transition services; age of majority; and measuring progress.