Proponents of this view believe that students with disabilities benefit, both
academically and socially, when provided opportunities to interact, learn, and share with their non-disabled peers (Heubert, 1994; Patterson, Bowling, & Marshall, 2000). The latter view of this debate best describes inclusion (Praisner, 2003). Once associated with the term mainstreaming, a service-delivery model which places students with disabilities in general education classrooms without appropriate supports and services to assist them in achieving important learning goals, inclusion was first described in the initial reauthorization of the EAHCA (Kasser & Lytle, 2004). However, now IDEA (2004) mandates that students with disabilities be provided appropriate educational supports and services to assist with their limitations in the general education setting to the maximum extent possible. This legal requirement, known as the least restrictive environment (LRE), explains the premise of inclusion, which was not clearly defined by the law (Halvorsen & Neary, 2005). Using this model, students are provided the necessary supports to access the general education curriculum for all academic and non-academic classes. With increased focus on providing high quality education for students with disabilities, the role of school leaders has changed immensely. In addition to maintaining safe schools, personnel management, and high-stakes testing, school leaders are now accountable for designing, implementing, leading, and evaluating programs to meet the needs of all students (Katsiyannis, 1994). While some duties associated with special education vary among districts, there are specific duties governed by federal law that must be followed. With school leaders holding the key to school-level compliance, it is necessary to identify the components of school leadership that are necessary for school leaders to perform their duties effectively (Sage & Burrello, 1994).