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The Special Burden of Special Education

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Abstract

Like a powerful hurricane that alters the landscape forever, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act that Congress passed in 1975 ensured that nothing remained the same for local school boards. A little history. School boards traditionally ignored and failed to serve the needs of disabled children. Blind and deaf youngsters were largely barred from attending neighborhood public schools. Those confined to wheelchairs and having other physical disabilities were unable even to enter school buildings that made no accommodations for them. Those with learning disabilities remained unidentified and were treated as simply dumb or lazy until the time came for them to drop out of secondary school. Children with mental developmental difficulties, with few exceptions, had no hope of attending public schools.

Keywords

Public School Special Education School District School System Private School 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Kate Zernike, “Palin Promises Choice for Disabled Students,” New York Times, October 25, 2008, A13.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Amanda M. Fairbanks, “Tug of War over Costs to Educate the Autistic,” New York Times, April 19, 2009, 28.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Associated Press, “Settlement Reached in Baltimore Special Ed. Lawsuit,” Education Week, March 9, 2010.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Randy Ariey, “Care to Teach My Special-Ed Class? … I Thought Not,” Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2008.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Bruce Mohl and Jack Sullivan, “Spending Spiral,” Common Wealth, April 15, 2009.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Mari Molenaar and Michael Luciano, Financing Special Education in New Jerse. (Trenton, NJ: New Jersey School Boards Association, 2007).Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    Tamar Lewin, “Court Backs Repayment for Special Education,” New York Times, June 23, 2009, A16.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Subcommittee on the Handicapped, Education of All Handicapped Children, 1973–74. Part 2 Hearings, 93rd Cong., 1st sess., 1973, 1154.Google Scholar

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© Gene I. Maeroff 2010

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