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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The History of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

In the early 1970s, only 20% of children with disabilities were educated in America's public schools. These students were denied educational opportunities in two major ways. First, many students were completely excluded from public schools. In fact, Congressional findings in 1974 indicated that more than 1.75 million students with disabilities did not receive educational services. Second, more than three million students with disabilities who were admitted to school did not receive an education that was appropriate to their needs. Because of limited educational opportunities offered by public schools, families were often forced to look elsewhere for appropriate services, often at great distances from their homes and at their own expense. This lack of educational ...

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