How effective has the Handicapped Children Act of 1975 has been in the US? Many have questioned whether the law actually helps the handicapped. While recognizing the Federal role in helping localities and states to educate handicapped children, the act has yet to reach its full potential. It will take another few years before the provisions of the law begin to take effect. As a result, there is still much work to be done to make the law as effective as possible.
In the 1960s, the civil rights movement made real progress. President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society aimed to eliminate poverty and discrimination. The watchword for this period was access. In fact, children of color and those with disabilities finally gained access to public schools and jobs. Nevertheless, despite these gains, true equality has been impeded by a number of systemic processes, including courts and legislative redistricting.
The Handicapped Children Act of 1975 has had a profound impact on the education of disabled children in the US. Though implementation has been difficult, it has paved the way for major changes for millions of children. The Act mandates that states follow to ensure access to public schools for the handicapped showed that the federal government was committed to inclusion and educational equality. It also ended the exclusion of disabled students.
The Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was passed into law by the US Congress. The aim of the act was to end serious educational inequalities. Under the Act, all public schools receiving federal funds would have to provide educational services to handicapped students. The Act also stipulated that students with disabilities be evaluated individually. This evaluation is called an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which is specifically tailored to each student.
The HCPA was enacted after the Smith v. Robinson ruling, which addressed the enforcement of disability rights and legal costs. The Act has since amended the Equal Housing Act and enacted provisions to ease the financial burden of litigation. A key provision in the Act was the inclusion of a due process clause that allows the school system to award attorneys’ fees and expenses. These provisions make it easier to achieve the equal rights for children with disabilities.
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was amended in 2001 by President Clinton. This new act requires public schools to provide free or reduced-cost meals for children with disabilities. It also requires states to ensure compliance in all public schools. And, in addition to ensuring the equal educational access, it also mandates the creation of an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) for each student. What does this mean for the US?
Despite being passed by Congress, many critics of the Act still question its effectiveness. The UFT’s Albert Shanker publicly voiced dissatisfaction with several aspects of the act. However, he supported the principle of equal education for all and explained the disabilities of future integrated students. This was a landmark achievement in the history of education. However, the Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was not without its flaws.
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