History of Special Education Law

  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    This case established that both white and African American students have the same rights to a fair public education, as outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment. Before this decision, segregation of black and white children in schools existed, which hindered the fairness for black students to receive the same resources as the African American schools.
  • Civil Rights Act

  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

  • Mills v. Board of Education

    This case was filed by seven families with children that had disabilities that resulted in behavioral difficulties and were put out of school on a suspension, and eventually up for expulsion. Based on the Fourteenth Amendment, it was against their rights to not be able to receive an education based on these difficulties. This case provided schools with an outline of how to properly educate students with behavior or physical impairments and their right to due process.
  • PARC vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    In this case, fourteen families, alongside the PARC, argued that their children, who were diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities were not receiving a free appropriate public education, which they should be guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment. From this case came the understanding that all children are capable of learning in the right environment, even if it includes learning life skills, and Preschool students diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities must be provided access to programs.
  • The Rehabilitation Act-504

  • The Education for All Handicapped Children's Act (PL 94-142)

  • Armstrong vs. Kline

    This court case was initiated by five families that felt that the '180 rule' stating that students with disabilities are only in school for 180 days of the year was not providing a free appropriate public education under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. Based on the violation, the funding for Extended School Year was created so that children with disabilities have more school days and can help them retain skills on long breaks from school.
  • Larry P. vs. Riles

    This case was filed by five African-American families who believed their students were being wrongfully placed in classrooms based on racial biases in intelligence assessments given by the school. It was determined that African-American students were being disproportionally diagnosed and placed in educational settings that were not appropriate. This helped provide more awareness of intelligence testing and the misdiagnoses of African-American students.
  • Hendrick Hudson School vs. Rowley

    This was a case of a deaf student that required supports in the classroom. The team first decided on an interpreter, but later decided an FM system and other accommodations were sufficient. The parents wanted the interpreter, and it was first ruled that it wasn't free appropriate public education, but then the Supreme Court reversed that order. This was one of the first times the Supreme Court explained the exact meaning of some terms like "free appropriate public education".
  • Irving Independent School District vs. Tatro

  • Burlington School Committee vs. DOE

  • EHA Amendment

  • Honig vs. Doe

    This case described the violation of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act by suspending or expelling students with behavior that is violent and uncontrollable based on the student's disability. It was decided that this was a violation of the student's rights and a new provision was put in place stating that a student isn't allowed to be suspended for more than 10 days, along with a meeting to discuss what supports are needed.
  • Daniel R.R. vs. State Board of Education

    This case was brought on by a family who felt that the school district was not allowing their child to be in a regular education setting with supplementary aids and supports, which was the Least Restrictive Environment, and only allowing him to be in school with his disabled peers. It was decided by the court, that the regular education classroom was not appropriate for Daniel and the special education class was an appropriate.
  • Oberti v. Board of Education

  • EHA Amendment

  • Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Board of Education in Sacramento CA vs. Holland

  • Gaskin vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    This case focused on the Public Interest Law Center suing the Commonwealth of PA based on the inclusion of students with disabilities, and the failure to provide accommodations and modifications based on IEPs written within districts. It was found that there were significant inadequacies with the Least Restrictive Environment and the support being provided to students to ensure they are receiving a free appropriate public education.
  • EHA/IDEA Amendment

  • Cedar Rapids Community School District vs. Garrett F.

  • No Child Left Behind

  • IDEA Amendment

  • Endrew, F vs. the Douglas County School District