Education for All Handicapped Children Act

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act, also known as EAHCA or Public Law 94-142, was enacted in 1975 by the U.S. Congress. The EAHCA represented a major enhancement of the U.S. government’s commitment to educate children with disabilities. The law was intended to ensure that all children with disabilities could have a free public education appropriate for them, to ensure the protection of their rights and their parents’ rights, to assist states and localities in providing education for children with disabilities, and to assess and ensure the effectiveness of this education. This entry discusses the historical background of the law, describes its key elements, and summarizes its impact on education in the United States.

Historical Background

Prior to passage of the EAHCA, many school districts in ...

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