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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cases and Laws that Have Affected the Education of Students with Disabilities

Cases and Laws that Have Affected the Education of Students with Disabilities

Equal inclusion of students with disabilities is an important and serious issue in American education. There are many cases and laws that have had an impact on this issue. Here is a list of such cases and laws:
Brown vs. Board of Education is the first case to set a positive example for educators in relation to the rights of the students. This case acknowledges the fact that an African American student should be able to attend school in an equal educational environment to white students (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This case was so exemplary because it was the first case to set a standard of integration instead of segregation. Brown vs. Board of Education is such a famous case because it not only gave African American students a right to a better education; it also paved the way for disable students to receive an equal education as well (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
PARC vs. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is another important case that affects the equal inclusion of students with disabilities. This case caused all students, from the ages of 6 through 21, with disabilities to be provided free public education (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
Mills vs. Board of Education required that the District of Columbia provide a free public education to students with disabilities. This case also required that educators provide "due process procedural safeguards"; as a result of Mills vs. Board of Education laws that "clearly outlined due process procedures for labeling, placement, and exclusion" were created, and "Procedural safeguards to include right to appeal, right to access records, and written notice of all stages of the process" were also required (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
In 1975 a very important law was signed. "Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act" was a law that "provided individuals, ages 3 to 21, with a free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities, procedural safeguards to protect the rights of students and their parents, and education in the least restrictive environment, individualized educational programs, parental involvement in educational decisions related to their children with disabilities, fair, accurate, and nonbiased evaluations" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
In 1994 amendments to the previous act were passed by congress, and this law is called "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This law required that students with traumatic brain injury and autism be a "separate class entitled to services", and this law also required students with disabilities to be given a "transition plan" that assess the needs of the student and sets a plan for transition into adulthood (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
In 1997 another IDEA law that amended Public Law 94-142 was passed. This law was called "Public Law 105-17", and it included strengthening the "role of the parents" in order to ensure educational success and meditational methods of encouraging "parents and educators to resolve their differences" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This law also allowed school officials to discipline students in a manner that changed the safeguards previously set and set formulas for funding.
Another case that has played a role in the educational standards of students with disabilities is Hendrick Hudson School District v. Rowley, and this case is the first case to challenge the idea of "appropriate education" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This case is a touchy subject because it questions the ability to provide education to students with disabilities and the funding needed for such education. This case ruled that students with disabilities were meant to be provided with a free public education that was fair and provides satisfactory results, but not necessarily the best possible education (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
There have been many cases and laws that have directly impacted the education of special education students. Standards of education have increased for students with disabilities, and many special education students have been provided with excellent educational environments, but funding has caused a satisfactory education to be satisfactory instead of excellent.
Reference:
Chinn, P. & Gollnick, D. (2006). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society.

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