Children With Disabilities Education Act

2211 Words 9 Pages
Prior to 1975, more than half of children with disabilities were not receiving an appropriate education, and 1 million children were denied access to an education in the public school entirely (Altshuler & Kopels, 2003, p. 320). As a result, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) was established in 1975, which is known today as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This act provided the right for disabled children to receive a free and proper education that will adapt to each child’s specific needs (IDEA, 2004). Today, forty-one years later, the question remains; is the IDEA successful in providing children with disabilities an education they deserve? This question directly relates to the social work values …show more content…
The first landmark court case that greatly influenced the IDEA was the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) which declared segregation in schools based on race unconstitutional. This declaration helped lead to the greater understanding that everyone, no matter the race, gender, or disability, should have access to a public education (Esteves & Rao, 2008). Parents of children with disabilities became empowered to stand up and organize groups to fight for their child’s educational rights (Verstegen, 1994). The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was established in 1965 to help children with economical disadvantages attend school, and a year later an amendment was made and required funds specifically for children with disabilities (Esteves & Rao, 2008). As previously stated, two supreme court cases provided significant headway towards educational rights for children with disabilities. PARC v. Pennsylvania (1972) and Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia (1972) prompted the court decision that all children, regardless of the type of disability, have a legal right to free public education. The courts determined that inadequate funding was not an acceptable excuse for denying children with disabilities a suitable education (Verstegen, …show more content…
Of course, economic factors influence how well the social problem could be addressed, if at all. The biggest barrier faced when addressing this social problem was the fact that it is estimated, on average, to cost up to two and a half times more to educate a child with a disability, compared to that of a child with no disability (Willard, 1998, p. 1177). This huge concern needed to be addressed. As cited in Willard’s research, the court has stated that funds should be distributed first to make sure that no child is denied an education, and then to the appropriateness of the education (p. 1177). While it is true that no child should be denied an education, the child’s success is greatly determined on the effectiveness of the education provided. IDEA provides a great effort to eliminate the injustice against disabled children and their right to an education, however, economic factors still provide barriers to providing a fair chance for those children to succeed. This can only be done when providing an education that is fitting for their personal needs. Therefore, economic factors still prevent the social problem from being completely

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