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(3.18) Does a student have to be two years behind academically to be eligible for special education as a learning disability?

(3.18) Does a student have to be two years behind academically to be eligible for special education as a learning disability?

No.  There is no reference in either the federal or state eligibility criteria for learning disabilities or any other disability requiring that a student be two years behind academically.  If the school district uses the discrepancy model, the student’s academic achievement must be compared to her own ability levels, not to the ability levels of other students.  [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.8(c)(10), 300.309(a)(1) & (2); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3030(b)(10)(B).]