History of Federal Statutes Affecting Special Education
Congress adds Title VI to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, creating a Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (now called OSEP) and creating and funding what is now called the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development, by which school districts can acquire and disseminate promising educational practices to teach students with disabilities. Reed was legislative assistant to Senator Yarborough who chaired the education committee at that time
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is enacted into statute, and affects any recipient of federal financial assistance such as your school district and your state education agency.
The EHA (Education of the Handicapped Act -- grandparent of IDEA) is enacted to greatly expand Title VI.
FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is enacted, allowing parents to have access to all personally identifiable information collected, maintained or used by your school district in regard to your child.
The EHA is amended by the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) which is the parent of the IDEA).
Before 1975, children with disabilities were denied an education solely on the basis of their disabilities. Two court cases, PARC v. Pennsylvania (1972) and Mills v. D.C. Board of Education (1972), creatively used the precedent of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954) to apply the equal protection argument to students with disabilities. PARC and Mills legitimatized Congressional action in 1975.
Sec. 504 regulations are issued, to begin with 1977-78 school year, and includes a requirement for a self-evaluation of all policies and procedures of your school district and your state education agency so that discriminatory policies would be stopped. (Congress notes in 1990 hearings that school districts illegally ignored this requirement).
Appendix A to Section 504, which explains the Sec. 504 regulations, is issued.
The EAHCA regulations are issued to begin with the 1977-78 school year.
The EAHCA Appendix C is issued with 60 Q&A's about the IEP process (this is considered part of the federal law by federal courts but has been largely ignored by most school districts).
The EAHCA is amended with the addition of the Handicapped Children's Protection Act (in which Congress overturns a Supreme Court decision that said the EAHCA was "an exclusive remedy" and that parents could not also use Section 504 to protect their child). The amendment makes clear that students and parents have rights under the IDEA and Section 504 at the same time.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is enacted. Congress finds that the failures of school districts over the past 15 years of special education laws requires them to add the protection of the ADA to parents and students with disabilities. The ADA also adopts the Section 504 regulations as part of the ADA statute, so now the 504 regulations have the full weight of a federal statute.
The EAHCA is amended and is now called the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), adding transition as a requirement.
The "Joint Policy Memorandum" from the U.S. Department of Education is issued, at the specific request of Congress, to explain what must be made available to your child under Section 504 in a regular classroom (the memo is on our website).
The IDEA is amended with hundreds of changes that affect programming starting with the 1998-99 school year.
The new IDEA Regulations are issued with many changes.
The IDEA old Appendix C has been mostly included in the amendments to the IDEA statute so a new Appendix (now called Appendix A) is issued with 40 new Q&A's about the IEP process. The IDEA App. A is not to be confused with the Sec. 504 App A which was issued in 1977.
Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001No Child Left Behind Resources
President Bush signed into law on Dec. 3, 2004, changes to Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEIA 2004). The changes became effective July 1, 2005.
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