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Education System
Educational System
  1. Public Schools
  2. Private Schools
  3. Distance Learning
  4. Home Schooling
  5. Special Education
  6. Preschool and Head Start
  7. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
  8. Tracking
  9. Semester and Quarter System
  10. Busing
  11. Different Kinds of Public Schools
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A Special Education classroom.
Photo Courtesy of Dubuque Community Schools.
Special Education
Before the 1970s, most children with disabilities were confined to special schools or to institutions for their education. In 1966, Congress took the first step in establishing government-funded public education for children with disabilities by creating the Bureau for Education of the Handicapped. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a number of states also passed laws designed to partially fund special educational services for children with disabilities in public schools. In 1975, Congress found that millions of children with disabilities were still not receiving adequate educational opportunities. Congress then passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires states to provide all children with disabilities a “free and appropriate education.” IDEA, which has been revised numerous times, determines how states and school districts are to provide special education services to more than six million eligible students. Today public schools must offer special education to eligible students, no matter how severe their disabilities. Children with disabilities also have the right to receive related services, such as special transportation, counseling, as well as speech, occupational, or physical therapy. Schools must draw up an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each child with a disability that describes how their specific needs will be met.
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