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DISABLED KIDS OFTEN SEGREGATED, 
RECEIVE "SUBSTANDARD SCHOOLING"

  In the October 11, 1999 issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we asked this question: 

DID YOUR STATE PASS THE IDEA COMPLIANCE TEST?

We explained that your state Department of Education has many responsibilities under IDEA

The state Department of Education is responsible for supervising local school districts

Your state education department should have a comprehensive system of personnel development that is designed to ensure that there is an adequate supply of properly trained teachers. 

Your state should have policies and procedures that ensure that all children with disabilities receive a free appropriate education

Your state is responsible for implementing a comprehensive Child Find Program where all children with disabilities (including children who attend private schools) are identified, located and evaluated. 

On November 23, 1999, we reported that the IDEA Compliance Report had been delayed

The IDEA Compliance Report was scheduled for release on January 25, 2000.

AP NEWS BREAK: "STATES IGNORE SPECIAL ED LAW" 

On January 23, at 6:30 p.m., the Associated Press published "STUDY: STATES IGNORE SPECIAL ED LAW." The article by AP Writer Karen Gullo is based on an advance copy of the IDEA Compliance Report obtained by the Associated Press. 

According to "STATES IGNORE SPECIAL ED LAW": 

"Many children with disabilities are getting substandard schooling because states are not complying with federal rules on special education . . ." 

"In too many cases, children with disabilities are taught in separate classrooms and schools are not following other regulations meant to protect these students from discrimination." 

Because the U. S. Department of Education doesn’t require states to comply with the law, "parents often must sue to enforce the law . . ." 

The National Council on Disability found that: 

"Nearly 6 million American children receive special education instruction and services at a cost of almost $40 billion, about $5.7 billion of which is federal money." 

"Federal efforts to enforce the law over several administrations have been inconsistent, ineffective and lacking any real teeth . . ." 

MOST STATES FAIL TESTS 

After examining compliance reports from 1994 to 1998, the National Council on Disability concluded that: 
 

  • "36 states failed to ensure that children with disabilities are not segregated from regular classrooms." 
  • "44 states failed to follow rules requiring schools to help students find jobs or continue their education." 
  • "45 states failed to ensure that local school authorities adhered to nondiscrimination laws." 
The Council concluded that special education would not fulfill its mission until states are required to comply with the law. 

AP reports that, "The council made dozens of recommendations to strengthen federal enforcement. They include giving the Justice Department independent authority to investigate cases and take states to court; providing more money for enforcement and handling of complaints; and creating a process for handling complaints at the federal level." 

For an easy-to-read, printer- friendly copy of this article, go to 


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