ERIC Number: ED229883
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Allure of Legalization Reconsidered: The Case of Special Education.
Neal, David; Kirp, David L.
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Public Law (PL) 94-142, exemplifies the trend in American public policy toward the "legalization" of educational issues previously left to political or professional solution. Such legislation characteristically includes a focus on individual rights, the use of legal concepts and modes of reasoning, and the provision of legal techniques such as written agreements and court-like procedures to enforce and protect rights. In the area of special education, "Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" marked the end of the first stage of legalization, translating political pronouncements into legal guarantees and precipitating widespread litigation on behalf of the handicapped. The "PARC" and subsequent decisions were crucial in initiating and shaping federal legislative policy involving special education. As the culmination of the legalization process through federal legislation, PL 94-142 emphasizes due process and procedural matters more than it does substantive issues, such as what constitutes an appropriate education. Although such legislation was necessary to bring attention to and legitimate the educational claims of the handicapped, the legalized model should not be relied upon too heavily and could be modified to avoid some of its detrimental effects, including its potential for distorting the allocation of education resources. (JBM)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Disabilities, Due Process, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, Federal State Relationship, Government School Relationship, Legal Responsibility, Mental Retardation, Nondiscriminatory Education, Public Policy, Special Education, Student Rights
Publications, Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, School of Education, CERAS Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act