Intent of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
“Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.” Section 1400(c)(1)
All children and youth with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) must receive a free appropriate public education that includes fair evaluation, ambitious goals, challenging objectives, the right to progress, individualized supports and services, high quality instruction, and access to the general education curriculum in age-appropriate inclusive settings.
History of Civil Rights
Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Enforced the right of all citizens to vote
- Established equal opportunity in employment
- Made racial discrimination in public places illegal
- Projects funded by federal dollars could be cut off if there was evidence of discrimination based on color, race or national origin.
- Sets precedent of all subsequent civil rights language and procedures
Section 504 Of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability
- Defined as “a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity
- Permits federal government to take funding away from programs that discriminate against individuals based upon the presence or perceived presence of a disability
- Rights guaranteed by Section 504 are enforceable in court
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
- Protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace, as well as other public services, such as schools, city activities/programs, day care centers.
History of Special Education Rights
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
A landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) (P.L. 91-230)
Addressed the inequality of educational opportunity for underprivileged children, ensuring that students have access to quality education.
Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (PARC) (1975)
Addressed the exclusion of children with mental retardation from public schools. In the subsequent settlement, it was agreed that educational placement decisions must include a process of parental participation and a means to resolve disputes.
Mills v Board of Education of District of Columbia
Address the practice of suspending, expelling and excluding children with disabilities from District of Columbia public schools
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (1990)
- EHA was amended and renamed several times.
- IDEA 1990 Authorized the federal government to provide funds to state and local educational agencies to implement the requirements of the law, although to date not fully funded
- Created procedures and standards for state and local agencies to follow.
- 1997 Reauthorization, among other changes, dramatically changed the right for students to receive support if parentally placed students.
- IDEA 2004 included language and protections that stemmed from No Child Left Behind’s reauthorization, including requires for qualified teachers, increased accountability and improved outcomes through adherence to research-based instruction
Other Education Legislation
No Child Left Behind (2001)
- Required significant accountability measures for elementary and secondary education in U.S.
- Imposed testing requirements in an attempt to ensure all students in public schools would reach the same high academic standards – including those with disabilities.
- Required core academic proficiency, adequate yearly progress, highly qualified teachers, and use of scientifically based interventions for curricula and instructional methods
- Known as the worst federal education legislation ever passed by Congress.
Every Student Succeeds Act (2015)
- Requires that all students be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.
- Expands increased access to high quality preschool.
- Offered new grants to districts serving low-income students, federal grants for text books and library books, funding for special education centers, and scholarships for low-income college students.
- Provided grants to state and educational agencies to improve quality of elementary and secondary education.