This chapter describes the story of Michael Panico and his family to show how the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA), which was later replaced by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), has affected the lives of children with disabilities. It narrates how Michael's parents had to fight for years with the assistance of pro bono legal counsel in order for him to win the right to attend a private school that could give him an adequate education. It examines the Supreme Court case involving Michael—the dispute in this case arose over the content of the individualized education program proposed by the school district on June 28, 1979, for the 1979–1980 school year (fourth grade)—and shows that his story reflects the sloppy way in which many school districts implemented the EAHCA in the early days of enforcement.
Keywords: children with disabilities, Michael Panico, Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, private school, education, Supreme Court, school district, individualized education program
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