The U.S. Congress has passed several laws to be certain people with disabilities have a right to public education. Within these laws schools must include parents in the decision making process that affects their child, information must be confidential, and any records must be accessible for parents. The laws protect individuals with disabilities and their families.
14th Amendment to the Constitution states that “No state shall deny any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the law; nor should any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property” without due process of law (Prater and Sileo, 2013, p. 2). - Equity in education started to emerge.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act - civil rights law (broad) -no discrimination for programs that receive federal financial assistance
1974 FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (ensures confidentiality and parental rights to access student records)
1975- Education for All Handicapped Children Act - individuals have a right to free, appropriate, public education
2002- NCLB- No Child Left Behind Act
2004- IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
Children from birth to age three have certain rights to services before preschool such as Help Me Grow. School age students ages 3-21 have rights to a free and appropriate public education by highly qualified teachers.