How has the legal system evolved, as it applies to special education

NOTE: my friend TT was required by his professor to ask an attorney the following questions (a-d) here are my answers… if anyone has input or improvements please post in the comments section 🙂
Hi TT,
Please let your professor know that, while I am not regularly involved with special education law, I have provided these answers which are accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Best regards,

On 9/4/2012 1:10 PM, TT asked:

a)      How has the legal system evolved, as it applies to special education, over the past 20 years, and how has that affected the legal framework for special education today?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), introduced in the late 80s and passed in the early 90s, is probably of the single largest changes in special education law for children with disabilities (for entities that accept federal funding). IDEA replaced the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) and took it to the next level, attempting to focus more on the child and less on the child’s condition.

b)     How does the legal framework differ for special needs students and regular students in private and public schools? 

The IDEA provisions outline specific goals and services tailored to the individual needs of the particular disabled student. As such, those provisions are not applicable to ‘regular’ students.

c)      Who monitors the implementation and evaluation of IEPs in private and public schools?

Local education administrators / state department of education.

d)     In the legal expert’s opinion, are there any elements of special education law that need refinement? Explain.

As always, additional funding may be required. As it is, current needs do not seem to be met in many circumstances. Likewise, parents of disabled children seem frustrated by the lack of cooperation and input they may receive when trying to ensure their child’s educational needs are met, conversely teaching faculty may be frustrated by the rules and requirements that can inhibit their teaching. If there were a way to address the needs of parents, teachers and child this would be ideal but alas I do not have the perfect solution!

Best regards,

Thank you again,

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