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1 The major Federal Act or law governing the education of children and youth with disabilities is most commonly known as The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA The current version is actually titled: The Individuals with Education Improvement Act First line of the legislation states that this Act may be referred to as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA Original Special Education Law was signed into law – November 1975 by President Ford (reluctantly) Original Law title: the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EHCA) – AKA PL 94-142 PL94-142 was the result of much debate, reflected the social concepts of equality that dominated the political landscape in the 1960s and 70s, and litigation that resulted in court mandated changes in how schools operated Terminology: Policy – a program of actions adopted by a group, or government OR the set of principles on which they are based Case Law – law decided by precedent; law established on basis of previous verdicts Litigation – legal action carried out in courts Legislation – a law or set of laws passed by an official body like a governmental agency or assembly Litigation creates Case Law – case law is the results of court cases that set precedent for subsequent court cases Litigation occurs when one party identifies and injustice created by the actions of another party. Legislation occurs when the injustices identified within litigation or by some societal group generates action at the state or federal level In its mandate that children with disabilities be provided with a free and appropriate education, regardless of the nature of their disability, reflects the concept of access to education generated by the legal decision in three major law suits 1. Brown v Board of Education, Topeka KS 1954 – Case Action Lawsuit (5 families) Issue Educational Segregation Tested the “separate but equal” concept established in Plessy v. Ferguson Decision: Racially segregated schools did not provide equal educational opportunity Outcome: Schools must desegregate
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2 2. Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v Commonwealth of PA 1972 – Case Action Lawsuit Issue: Right to Education of students with MR Case focus: exclusion of students with MR from neighborhood schools Decision: All children (6-21) with MR must have access to school & be integrated into “mainstream” Outcomes: o Established Concept of FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education), o Right of parents to participate in decisions about their children’s education, o “child-find” requirement, o expanded definition of “Education” as being more than social/functional learning 3. Mills v. Washington 1972 – Case Action Lawsuit 7 students (Peter Mills – 1 st named plaintiff) o All “labeled” as having behavioral problems, mental retardation, emotional
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This note was uploaded on 05/13/2011 for the course SPED 391 taught by Professor Dr.handler during the Spring '11 term at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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