Decisions regarding eligibility for speech-language services in the schools can be the most difficult decisions facing school-based speech-language pathologists. Clinicians and parents must be informed about the federal mandates for services in the schools for children with special needs in order to make appropriate decisions and to ensure that children with disabilities are receiving the services to which they are entitled. This article discusses the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law guaranteeing school-based services to children with disabilities, as an educational planning process that promotes meaningful access to the general curriculum for all students. Steps are then outlined for making eligibility decisions by following this established process and using IDEA's goals as the standard by which services are developed and implemented. Examples are given linking speech-language services to state learning standards.