Special Education And The Civil Rights Movement

899 WordsJul 4, 20154 Pages
Special education is a relatively new concept in education. The question is why? Although, the Federal Government required all children to attend school since 1918, this did not apply to students with disabilities. Many state laws gave school districts the ability to deny access to individuals they deem “uneducable.” The term “uneducable” varied from state to state, school to school, and even individual to individual. If students were accepted into the school, they were placed in regular classrooms with their peers with no support or in classrooms that were not appropriate to meet their needs. This started to change with the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The lawsuit Brown vs the Board of Education sued to end segregation of public schools laid the ground work for Individuals with Disabilities Act. The next major impact in education was the enactment of Elementary and Secondary Act signed into effect by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The purpose of this law was to provide fair and equal access to education for all, established higher standards, and mandated funds for professional development, resources for support education programs, and parent involvement. Under this law, programs like Head Start were created and celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. Despite additional federal funds and mandatory laws, children with disabilities were unserved or underserved by public school due to loop holes with in the law. Many more lawsuit followed Brown vs
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