History of Special Education Law Timeline

  • Brown v. Board of Education

    The Supreme Court rules that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. This is a landmark case for The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also the court case that most special education cases use to remind people that children with disabilities should not be segregated or deprived of the education they deserve.
  • Civil Rights Act

    This act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    Provided federal money to states in order to improve opportunities for students who were at a disadvantage, including children with disabilities.
  • PARC v. Commonwealth of PA

    Required schools to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
  • Mills v. Board of Education

    Since segregation was deemed unconstitutional, it also was deemed unconstitutional to deny students with disabilities an education.
  • The Rehabilitation Act-504

    This act forbid organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services. It defines the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have access to, program benefits and services.
  • The Education for All Handicapped Children's Act

    (PL 94-142). This promised funding to those institutions who said they would provide students with disabilities education. Schools began creating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with disabilities.
  • Armstrong v. Kline

    Parents of students noticed their children in special education began to regress during summer break. Ruled in favor of plantiffs and brought forth the extended school year, making ESY available to children with disabilities.
  • Board of Education in Sacramento CA v. Holland

    The district court concluded that the appropriate placement for Rachel was full-time in a regular second grade classroom with some supplemental services and affirmed the decision of the hearing officer.
  • Larry P. v. Riles

    Case in which the Court found that IQ testing on African American children in order to place them in special needs settings or label them as disabled based on their IQ was banned.
  • Hendrick Hudson School v. Rowley

    School sued due to interpreter being taken away from deaf student. The Court ruled in favor of school because Amy Rowley was succeeding without the interpreter, however, the case offered a new interpretation of FAPE. This created a definition of FAPE and clarified that students don't have to have maximum support but enough to receive educational benefits.
  • Irving Independent School District v. Tatro

    The court ruled that the Irving Independent School District was required to provide catheterization services for Amber during school hours because it was considered a related service under the Education for all Handicapped Children Act.
  • Burlington School Committee v. DOE

    The Supreme Court held that the Education of the Handicapped Act grants the courts broad discretion in overseeing the administrative proceedings of IEP disputes that includes the ability to order reimbursement.
  • EHA Amendment

    Financial incentives were created for education children birth-2 using early intervention methods. Required Individuals Family Service Plans for children and families.
    Lowered the age of eligibility for special education services to age 3.
  • Honig v. DOE

    The Supreme Court held that the "stay-put" provision of the Education of the Handicapped Act prohibited state or local school authorities from excluding disabled children from the classroom, even for dangerous or disruptive conduct resulting from their disabilities.
  • Danny R.R. v. State Board of Education

    Landmark law that created a platform for including children with disabilities in normal classes as well as in extracurricular activities.
  • EHA Amendment

    The 1990 reauthorization (Public Law 110-476) changed the law's name from EHA to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or "IDEA."
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    New name for the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
  • Oberti v. Board of Education

    This case established inclusion with supplementary aids and services as the presumption, because it is “a fundamental value of the right to public education for children with disabilities.” It also established that if placement outside the classroom is necessary, the school district must then include the child in as many school programs with children who do not have disabilities “to the maximum extent appropriate.”
  • EHA/IDEA Amendment

    Changed the IEP team and added new components to it. Reorganized the structure of IDEA. Began requiring states to offer intervention efforts to parents before due process hearings began.
  • Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F.

    Case in which the Court ruled that the related services provision in IDEA required public school districts to fund "continuous, one-on-one nursing care for disabled children" despite arguments from the school district concerning the costs of services.
  • No Child Left Behind

    This extremely controversial law was the reaction to the low academic achievement of American students. This began holding the government responsible for the gains for students academically. This is also when standardized testing was introduced.
  • IDEA Improvement Act

    Gave a definition to "highly qualified" special education teacher and encouraged the use of the RTI model in classrooms. Removed short term goals in IEP's except for those with severe disabilities.
  • Gaskin v. Commonwealth of PA

    The Court stated students may not be removed from regular education classes simply because of the severity of their disabilities. Furthermore, school districts have an obligation to provide students with disabilities, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, specially designed instruction or other supplementary aids and services, if needed, to benefit from participating in a regular education classrooms.
  • Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District

    Endrew's parents sued the school for tuition to a private school because the school was unable to provide a "meaningful education" for their child. Confusion with terminology in courts led to a debate of what schools are required to provide. The Court ruled in favor of a higher standard of education for students with disabilities. They stated that students with disabilities should have the same opportunities for growth as a typically developing child would.