IEA Student Eligibility

Is My Child Eligible?

A student is eligible to receive an IEA if they meet all of the following four criteria:

  1. is a Tennessee resident; and
  2. has an active individualized education program (IEP)1 in effect at the time of request for participation in the program; (If you have questions about your child's IEP status, please contact the public school district in which your student is enrolled.); and
  3. has one of the following disabilities in the active IEP as the primary or secondary disability at the time of request for participation in the program:
    • autism;
    • deaf-blindness;
    • developmental delay2;
    • hearing impairments;
    • intellectual disability;
    • multiple disabilities3;
    • orthopedic impairments;
    • traumatic brain injury;
    • visual impairments; and
  4. meets at least one of the following requirements:
    • was previously enrolled in and attended a Tennessee public school for the one full school year immediately preceding the school year in which the student receives an IEA;
    • is entering kindergarten for the first time;*
    • has not previously attended a school in Tennessee during the one full school year immediately preceding the school year in which the student receives an IEA, and moved to Tennessee less than one year prior to the date of enrollment in the IEA Program; or
    • received an IEA in the previous year.

*If a student has an active IEP prior to enrolling in kindergarten (i.e., in pre-K) and the IEP is active at the time of request for participation in the IEA Program, the student will be eligible to receive an IEA without having to attend a Tennessee public school; however, the student may have to be enrolled in a public school (e.g., pre-K) to keep the IEP active through the date the IEA application is submitted.  Please note: for more information about IEPs, parents should contact their school district.

For more information, please see Chapter 2 of the IEA Parent Handbook.

1In accordance with 34 C.F.R § 300 et seq., § 49-10-102, and regulations of the state board of education.

2Beginning May 5, 2017.

3Beginning May 5, 2017.

Term of the IEA

A student who enrolls in the IEA Program will remain eligible until the participating student:

  1. returns to a public school,
  2. graduates from high school (including passing the GED or HiSET), or
  3. reaches twenty-two (22) years of age by Aug. 15 for the next school year, whichever occurs first.

Please read the IEA Parent Handbook  and review the IEA Frequently Asked Questions for more information about student eligibility.