The philosophy of excluding students with disabilities frompublic school education can be traced back in legal history to1893 (NAESP, 2008, 1).
Perspective After WWII
After WWII a number of parent-organized advocacy groups were created.
Brown v. Board of Education
Segregation on the basis of race violated equal educational opportunity. The Brown decision led the way to a growing understanding that all people, regardless of race, gender, or disability, have a right to a public education (NAESP, 2008, 1).
Title VI is added to the Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965. Adding title VI impacted public schools because although educating students with disabilities was still not mandated by federal or state laws, the creation of the Bureau showed that a changes was soon to come.
PARC v. Pennsylvania & Mills v. D.C. Board of Education
These two supreme court decisions apply the equal protection argument to students with disabilities. The courts decided to support the position that children with disabilities have an equal right to access education as their non-disabled peers. Some students began to go to school as a result of this.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This law protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disabilitiy.
FERPA was created to give parents access to all of their child's educational records
The Education of All Handicapped Children Act is enacted in 1975. This is now the law known as IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). EAHCA along with some supreme court cases mandated that all school districts educate students with disabilities.
Students with Disabilities were Inappropriately Educated
"As late as 1975, up to half of the estimated 8 million childrenwith disabilities in the U.S. were either being inappropriatelyeducated or fully excluded from the public school setting" (NAESP, 2008, 1)
Section 504 is implemented as a result of a wheelchair sit-in.
Public Law 99-457
This new law was created for preschool age children with disabilities. This law allows services for children ages 3-5.
The gifted and Talented Children's Act was created to provide the first standards to education gifted children. This law also identifies potentially gifted children.
ADA is enacted which adopts the Section 504 regulations. PL 101-336 prohibts discrimination against persons with disabilities in private or public employment. This law also requires equal access to public services to people with disabilities.
Public Law 105-17 is the reauthorization of IDEA. This provided increased parental participation, lowered the age of a transition plan to age 14, and increased required special eduxation reassessments.
No Child Left Behind
This law states that all students including students with disabilities will be proficent in math and reading by 2014.
There are many changes from IDEA-97. The biggest change calls for more accountability at the state and local levels.