Education is important for all children, but even more so for children with disabilities, whose social and economic opportunities may be limited. In this article, Laudan Aron and Pamela Loprest assess how well the nation’s education system is serving students with disabilities.
Aron and Loprest trace the evolution of the special education system in the United States from its origins in the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. They note the dual character of federal legislation, which both guarantees eligible children with disabilities the right to a “free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive setting” and establishes a federal funding program to help meet this goal. They then review the types of services and accommodations these children receive from infancy through young adulthood.