Special ed is not a Scandal
Special Education Is Not A Scandal
I think the biggest most important law having to due with education and the general public is PL 94-142. It is because of this laws effect on the school system and the impact that it left in the history of special education that I chose to write about it. Implemented in the 1970’s PL 94-142 is responsible for a change in which all handicapped children are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE), a change that gave the disabled a fighting chance towards education in a world that was very discriminating. This law was amended in 1983, 1986 and reauthorized in 1990 ensuring that every child receives an individualized appropriate education in the least restrictive environment at no cost to the parents.
Although PL 94-142 is a great law and has protected many Americans since it first went into effect in 1975 times were not always so good. In the early days of education it was not uncommon for the mentally challenged to be sent home from school denied their right to learn. Parents would have to find alternative methods or institutions for their child’s learning and usually pay a hefty price for what should of come for free. However, a steady line of law suites continually bombarded local states. Famous cases like Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania set the way for transition in the early 1970’s by “challenging segregated, inconsistent, or nonexistent programs for educating children with disabilities”. Success in these cases won the plaintiff’s the right for a free appropriate education, an Individualized Educational Program, and due process procedures. It was as this time that PL 94-142 first came into effect. Eventually Education for All Handicapped Children ACT (EAHCA) led to today’s version PL 101-476 other wise known as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). With time this law was tested and brought into consideration in a multitude of cases involving disabled students. For example, in the case of Oberti v. Board of Education in 1993 the...