Education for All Handicapped Children Act • Enacted by Congress in 1975 • Referred to as EAHCA, EHA or Public Law (PL) 94-142. • Renamed in 1990 as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) • Both a civil rights statute and federal assistance statute.
Requirements of EAHCA • Required public schools to provide equal access to education for children with physical and mental disabilities. • Required public schools to evaluate handicapped students and create an educational plan (IEP) that would emulate the educational experience of non-disabled students. • Required school districts to provide administrative procedures so that parents could dispute decisions made about their children’s education. Once the administrative efforts were exhausted, parents were then authorized to seek judicial review of the administration’s decision.
Free Appropriate Public Education • As stated in EAHCA: free appropriate public education means special education and related services which • have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge • meet the standards of the State educational agency • include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the State involved • are provided in conformity with the individualized education program
Is it F.A.P.E? • Yes, If… • personalized instruction is being provided with sufficient supportive services to permit the child to benefit from the instruction • the other items on the definitional checklist(as stated in the previous slide)are satisfied.
Board of Education V. Rowley • Amy Rowley, a deaf student in a public school in Peekskill, N.Y., sued school officials claiming that the denial of a qualified sign-language interpreter constituted a denial of the "free appropriate public education" guaranteed by the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. • The District Court ruled in her favor, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed.
Rowley cont. • Argued: March 23, 1982 • Decided: June 28, 1982 • The United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded. • It was held that a state which receives federal funds to educate handicapped children need not provide a sign- language interpreter for a deaf student who is receiving an adequate education to meet her educational needs.
Rowley in Relation to EAHCA • With EAHCA Congress sought to make public education available to handicapped children. • The Rowley opinion shows Congress did not impose any greater substantive educational standard than would be necessary to make such access meaningful. • While EAHCA opened the door of public education to handicapped children, Rowley showed that it did not guarantee any particular level of education once inside.
In Schools • The EAHCA emphasized that handicapped students should be in classes with non-handicapped students (whenever possible). • Aims for equitable treatment, but access may be meaningless without unequal, specialized treatment(which was denied in Rowley).
Inclusion and Integration • Aspects of handicapped student inclusion mimic those of racial integration. • Access to only the “basic floor of opportunity”. • We’re just in dire need of room for special education. We’re using all the space we can, including closets and showers.”-Glenn Martin • School district decides on whom the benefit should be bestowed. • Is “the same” really “equal”?
Conclusion • Look back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts. ~Anna Quindlen • EAHCA began to fight a fashion in bigotry and lead to the “right thing”.