Legislative Notes: The Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975

Part I reviews the landmark judicial decisions which have established the right of handicapped children to participate in free, public education. The basic provisions of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 are then presented in Part II. The funding provisions are discussed in Part III with particular emphasis upon the tension between the promise of federal largesse and the expense of compliance with statutory and judicial requirements. Part IV reviews prior efforts to obtain judicial recognition of a substantive right to an appropriate education and suggests some ways in which the 1975 Act may alter the framework of judicial consideration of this endeavor. Finally, Part V examines in detail the Act’s provisions for individualized educational programs and procedural safeguards. The utility of these provisions to persons who seek to hold educational agencies accountable for their special education programs is stressed. In addition, particular attention is paid to certain legal problems that are likely to emerge from the implementation of the complaint procedure incorporated into the 1975 Act.