History of Special Education—The Past 60 Years NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS
Legal Issues in Special Education • **Generally, over the years, special education has been restructured and transformed by legislation
Legal Issues in Special Education • In 1948, only 12 percent of all children with disabilities received some form of special education. • By the early 1950s, special education services and programs were available in school districts, but often, undesirable results occurred. For example, students in special classes were considered unable to perform academic tasks.
Legal Issues in Special Education • Consequently, they went to special schools or classes that focused on learning manual skills such as weaving and bead stringing. Although programs existed, it was clear that discrimination was still as strong as ever for those with disabilities in schools.
Brown vs. Board of Education • Legislation and court cases to prevent discrimination in education first came to notice in 1954 with the famous case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. • **Brown was a discrimination suit
Brown vs. Board of Education • In Brown, the Court ruled that it was illegal practice under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to arbitrarily discriminate against any group of people. • The Court then applied this principle to the schooling of children, holding that a separate education for African American students is not an equal education. In its famous ruling, separate but equal would no longer be accepted.
Brown vs. Board of Education • Brown set the precedent for future discrimination cases in education. People with disabilities were recognized as another group whose rights had been violated because of arbitrary discrimination. For children, the discrimination occurred because they were denied access to schools because of their disabilities.
Brown vs. Board of Education • Using Brown as their legal precedent, students with disabilities claimed that their segregation and exclusion from school violated their opportunity for an equal education under the 14th amendment of the US constitution-The Equal Protection Clause. • If Brown could not segregate by race, then schools should not be able to segregate or otherwise discriminate by ability and disability.
1960s • In the 1960s, parents began to become advocates for better educational opportunities for their children. • Segregated special classes were not the most appropriate educational setting for many students with disabilities.
1960s • By the end of the 1960s, landmark court cases set the stage for enactment of federal laws to protect the rights of children with disabilities and their parents. • As a result of numerous historical court cases, federal legislation for individuals with disabilities began to develop in the early 1970s.
Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act • Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights law enacted in 1973. • It was created to prevent discrimination against all individuals with disabilities in programs that receive federal funds.
Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act • Section 504 ensures students of equal opportunity to all school activities. • Prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities in federally funded programs
Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act • Individuals with disabilities cannot be excluded from participation in, denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
P.L. 94-142Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) • Because of the victories that were being won for students with disabilities in the early 1970s, parents and student advocates began to lobby Congress for federal laws and money that would ensure students with disabilities got an education that would meet their needs.
P.L. 94-142Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) • Years of exclusion, segregation, and denial of basic educational opportunities to students with disabilities and their families set an imperative for a civil rights law guaranteeing these students access to the education system • **In 1975, the stage was clearly set for a national special education law. Public Law 94-142
P.L. 94-142Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) • It is evident that Congress recognized the necessity of special education for children with disabilities and was concerned about the widespread discrimination. • In response, Congress enacted into federal law The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA), Public Law (PL) 94-142.
P.L. 94-142Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) • **Was signed into law by President Gerald Ford • **Since 94-142 was enacted in 1975, the number of students receiving special education has increased by 75% • Public Law 94-142 set forth federal procedural safeguards for children with disabilities and their parents. This law outlined the entire foundation upon which current special education practices rest.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: IDEA • In 1990, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was reauthorized • Reauthorization--the act of amending and renewing a law. • IDEA-The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. IDEA continued to uphold the provisions set forth in 94-142.
IDEA • **Notice IDEA changed the terms in the previous law as follows: • 1. from “children” to “individuals” • 2. from “handicapped” to “with disabilities”
IDEA • In July of 2005, IDEA was reauthorized once again. It is now Public Law 108-446. • The law is still referred to as IDEA except now we call it IDEA 2004….and it’s name is: • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act