The Damaged Reality Of Special Education
By: Carolyn Hoff
In 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a law that assured students suffering from disabilities the right to education in public schools.
This act was known as “Education for All Handicapped Children…”
The act was not well funded, overly promised services to families, and was troubled by multifaceted methodical obligations.
Also, the law wasn’t put into place until 1978.
Therefore, Ford thought in 1975, that there would still be time to modify the law and design a program which is operative and practical.
That was very hopeful.
(Watch; History Of An IEP Video)
Special Education Is Damaged
Forty-three years later, some still hold Ford’s apprehensions, and they do not oppose the law.
However, people that have devoted their careers or personal lives by becoming involved in educating students with disabilities are becoming unsettled both openly and privately regarding special education as a practical law, and as a practice meant to have students receive the education they require.
Eventually, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) went into effect…
After its implementation, it was evident that this act was faulty in some significant ways. To mention a few: students with disabilities are not always acknowledged for needs when needs are present.
Eventually, when these needs are recognized, what occurs in the classroom is pretty random…
Ford and countless others mentioned, such as advocates, parents, school officials, and teachers that since 1975, there is simply an insufficient amount of funding in the law to achieve all that the law requires.
First, identifying students with disabilities is one aspect of IDEA.
School districts should find and evaluate students within their jurisdiction that could have a disability. This practice, according to the special education law, is known as, “child find.”
Some states have been known for neglecting to recognize and evaluate their students sufficiently…
Therefore, the number of special education students are quite low. State officials have mentioned that the cost for offering supplementary special education services maybe $3 billion or more throughout the next three years.
Additionally, Congress has never funded the Individual with Disabilities Act for the entire amount that was approved when the law was initially signed.
At that time, it was estimated by Congress that it would cost states two times more to educate a student that has disabilities as it would to educate a student in general education.
Twice as much…
The law permits the federal government to offer up to 40 percent of that additional cost to states. Although, Congress has never even approached that mark of 40%.
Congress paid a total of $12.3 billion in 2018. That is more like 15% of the additional cost.
However, it is not possible to know precisely how much is spent on special education.
Or, if it is correct that to educate a special education student costs twice as much as educating a general education student.
The last reported national expenditure on special education services is more than 20 years old…
Therefore, an important question is posed…
If more money was provided by Congress to provide services to special education students, would it end up where it’s supposed to go?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 at and is filed under School System and tagged as Carolyn Hoff, School System. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.