Scott Statement on the 42nd IDEA Anniversary

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement in recognition of the 42nd anniversary of the landmark PL 94-142, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“Following the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, parents of students with disabilities pointed out that separate settings for students with disabilities were, and continue to be, unequal and discriminatory. Twenty-one years later, in 1975, Congress recognized the rights of students with disabilities to be educated in public schools in the least restrictive environment.

“IDEA opened the doors of schools to students with disabilities, and we have made great strides in educating students with disabilities since the historic law. However, we still have hurdles to overcome, such as the disproportionate representation of students of color in special education. Despite these challenges, IDEA aims to guarantee students with disabilities access to a free, appropriate public education. That’s why I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the IDEA’s intent of Congress by affirming meaningful educational benefit from school in the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District decision.

“Congress must ensure that adequate funding is available to schools to realize that goal. And too, Secretary DeVos must ensure that the law protects the civil rights of students with disabilities and provides them with quality education to advance to college or a career. On this anniversary, I encourage Secretary DeVos to build on IDEA’s progress since 1975 and continue to fight for all students to have a high-quality, equitable education in the least restrictive environment.”

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