Special Education Law
Special education law is a vast area and is constantly changing. Numerous books and websites have been created around this topic, informing the public of the laws and changes to the laws. In addition, each state can have regulations that add to the federal statutes.
An in depth summation of the laws is beyond the scope of this project. This section will give the educator an overview of the major regulations related to special education with resources to further information provided. Our funder, and our project, are both based in Texas, hence those will be the state regulations discussed in this section.
After reviewing the module, the learner will be able to:
- Examine the history of federal special education legislation.
- Explore the impact of this legislation on public schools.
- Become familiar with key terms and acronyms related to special education.
- Understand the special education referral process.
- Recognize the usefulness of mediation in an educational setting.
Special Education Public Policy
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) was signed into law on November 29, 1975 by President Gerald Ford. This legislation is considered the “Bill of Rights” for children with disabilities and their families. The legislation incorporated six major components or guarantees that have forever changed the landscape of education across the United States.
Other Major Federal Legislation for Individuals with Disabilities
States are allowed to have statutes that add to the protections for students with disabilities but not to take away from what is provided by IDEA. In Texas, they are found in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part II, Chapter 89. Adaptations for Special Populations.
The Special Education Referral Process
Because of the federal laws and regulations that govern the education of students with disabilities, a process has evolved over time that governs the special education referral process. The purpose of this module is to provide an overview to the “Special Education Process” so that the learner may understand the global procedures for providing a student with disabilities a free and appropriate education (FAPE).
Mediation for Educators
Mediation is a problem-solving intervention that is used in creating solutions in a variety of disputes and conflicts. Mediation can be used anywhere there is a dispute. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a continuum of problem solving methods with mediation as one of the options.