with severe disabilities (those who would continue to have IEPs) and for helping schools and districts meet the unusually high costs of these students or of exceptional concentrations of students with mild disabilities. The advantages of a more integrated approach notwithstanding, we acknowledge that the categorical treatment of students with disabilities has served as an important safeguard that their needs would be met. Neglect of these children by public schools is a recent and vivid enough memory for advocates to engender understandable suspicion of anything that undermines the individual educational entitlements these children have won. The existing program, which serves a diverse but identifiable population, is therefore unlikely to be replaced with a set of general services designed for a more complex and diffuse group of students unless careful attention is paid to both capacity and accountability issues.
First, an integrated services approach requires that both personnel and facilities have the capacity to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners. Including students with disabilities in regular education requires extensive professional preparation at several levels: preservice teacher education for both general and special education personnel, in-service education within school systems, and ongoing technical assistance and support to ensure effectiveness of programming. IDEA recognized that the nation's schools were not prepared to provide an appropriate education to all students with disabilities and included requirements for states and local school districts to provide programs for personnel development (Turnbull, 1993). Funding to ensure adequate preparation for all educational personnel in school systems, however, has never been realized.
During the first decade of special education law, efforts focused on building a sufficient cadre of special education personnel to meet identified student needs. It is only in the last decade that the preparation of general educators to meet the needs of students with disabilities has begun to be emphasized. At the same time, many special education faculty have had only limited exposure to new curricular reforms and standards-based approaches; they will need development opportunities to prepare them to work in the general classroom and to help integrate their efforts into whole-school reform programs. States and school districts will also have to step up to new fiscal challenges in preparing their school buildings to accommodate the needs of diverse learners (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995a).
Integrated services will also be encouraged by continuing efforts to increase flexibility in the use of categorical federal and state aid and to grant states waivers from federal requirements when appropriate. Steps in the direction of flexibility are evident in most recent federal legislation, including the 1994 reauthorization of Title I, the Goals 2000 law, and the 1997 IDEA amendments. Permitting flexibility raises fears that spending on populations previously targeted by cat-