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SPED 494/594 Special Education and the Legal System Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 1948

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SPED 494/594

Special Education and the Legal System


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Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 1948

  • Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…


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Compulsory Education

  • Statutes put into force by state governments

    • require parents to have their children go to a public or state accredited private or parochial school for a designated period

    • Each state by law determines when this period starts and ends

    • Almost all states require a child to begin attending school at an age ranging from five to seven years. The age when a child may stop going to school varies from sixteen to eighteen

  • Laws were first passed in mid-1800’s and included each state by 1918


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Compulsory Education

  • Despite laws, barriers existed

    • Massachusetts in 1893 - “weak in mind”, “could not benefit”, “troublesome”

    • Wisconsin in 1919 - “drooling”, “facial contortions”, “speech problems”

    • Ohio in 1934 - “right to exclude” contradicts compulsory education act

    • Illinois in 1958 - “no benefit”, “disruptive”, “feeble-minded”, “mentally deficient”

    • North Carolina in 1969 - crime to force attendance


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Advocacy

  • Climate change at turn of the century

  • Early 1900’s

    • National attention on disabilities

    • Move from institutional to public school services

    • Shift from isolation to segregation


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Advocacy

  • 20-30’s - increased number of special education classes in segregated setting

    • Smaller class sizes

    • Homogeneous grouping

    • Less competitive setting

  • Beyond 30’s

    • Great Depression

    • Democratic policies in contrast to compulsory education principles

    • Increasingly restricted opportunities and placements


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Headlines

  • Federal Judge Approves Record $6.7 Million Settlement in Special Ed Case - December 2004

  • The Manhattan Beach Unified School District and the California Department of Education have agreed to pay more than $6.7 million to a child with a disability and his parents for their failure to appropriately educate the child for more than five years.

  • http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/05/porter.settlement.htm


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • Early legislation

    • The Education of Mentally Retarded Children Act of 1958 - training of teachers

    • The Training of Professional Personnel Act of 1959 - training of teachers

  • 1960’s

    • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 - war on poverty, funding for disadvantaged students

    • The ESEA Amendments of 1966 - Title VI - pilot special education programs


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • 1970’s

    • The ESEA Amendments of 1970 - Title VI became the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) - consolidate and expand programs, continue pilot programs, fund higher education, develop regional resource centers

    • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - first federal civil rights law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities

      • Mirrored other civil rights laws of 1964 (race) and 1972 (sex)

      • Prohibit discrimination by any agency receiving federal funds


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • 1970’s

    • The Education Amendments of 1974 - states receiving funding must set a goal of providing educational opportunities for all children with disabilities

      • Influenced by PARC and Mills decisions

      • Authorized National Advisory Council on Handicapped Children

      • Supported both children with disabilities and children who were gifted and talented

      • “Right to an education”, due process procedures, least restrictive environment


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 - educational bill of rights and promise of federal funding incentives - ensures access to education

    • Resolved issue of continued exclusion and inappropriate education

    • Free appropriate public education for all qualifying students with disabilities from ages 3-18 by 1978 and 3-21 by 1980

    • Qualified students had rights to:

      • Non-discriminatory testing

      • Education in the least restrictive environment

      • Free education

      • Appropriate education

    • Promise of federal funding

      • From federal level to state educational agencies (SEA’s) to local educational agencies (LEA’s)

      • Plans from states required

      • Local programs had to meet state requirements

      • Used as supplement to state and local funding

      • Compliance by all states by 1985


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • 1980’s

    • Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1983 - granted courts authority to award attorney fees

    • The Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Act of 1986 - required participating states to develop interagency programs for early intervention

      • Became a subchapter of IDEA part H

      • Changed to part C in ‘97 amendments

      • Covered birth to age 2

        • Developmentally delayed

        • Diagnosed with physical or mental condition

      • SEA not required to be responsible agency


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • 1980’s

    • Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Act

      • Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP)

        • Funded states must have IFSP for all qualifying children

        • Developed by multidisciplinary and interagency team

        • Primary difference

          • flexible definition of qualifying students

          • Focus on family

          • Coordinated interagency efforts


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • 1990’s

    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 - renaming of 1975 act

      • Substitutes handicapped with disability

      • “People first” language

      • Added 2 disability categories

        • Autism

        • Traumatic brain injury

      • Clarified terminology

        • related services

        • assistive technology

        • rehabilitation services

      • Transition planning at 16 years of age or older

        • Based on individual needs

        • Include personal preferences and interests


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • Most recent legislations

    • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997

      • Responded to limitations of IDEA

        • Expectations too low

        • Insufficient focus on research and practice

        • Emphasis on paperwork and legal requirements interfering in teaching and learning

      • Ensures a “quality” public education

      • Focus on improved student performance


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • Most recent legislations

    • The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 - updated version of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act

      • Accountability for SEA’s and LEA’s to demonstrate measurable gains in achievement

      • Requires data to show evidence on improvements

      • Special education included to ensure accountability for all


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • Most recent legislations

    • President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education of 2002

      • Recommend reforms in special education

      • Align special education with NCLB

      • Accountability demonstrated by increased academic achievement and data supported by researched evidence

      • Close achievement gap

      • Three major recommendations

        • Focus on results and outcomes

        • Model of prevention

        • Collaboration of special and general education


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Legislative History of Special Education

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 - IDEA 2004

    • Increased accountability

    • Changes in process

      • IEP

      • Discipline

      • Identification of students with learning disabilities

      • Teacher standards

        • certification in special education

        • Highly qualified teacher requirements

      • Scientifically-based instructional strategies and methods


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Access to Quality to Accountability

  • Access to public education first achieved in 1975

  • New issue of accountability

    • Ensure beneficial and meaningful programs

    • LEA’s are held accountable for quality programming


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Special Education Timeline

  • Access

  • Quality

  • Accountability


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