A New Beginning
A New Beginning
This concluding chapter discusses the kinds of reforms that are necessary to ensure that all children can receive a free and appropriate public education regardless of their disability status. It first cites data showing that African Americans are still disproportionately tracked in the “mental retardation” and “emotional disturbance” categories while also subject to much higher rates of suspension from school. In contrast, the high-quality private schools for children with autism are more likely to be filled with white children whose parents have been able to take advantage of funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This chapter also provides suggestions to make the IDEA a more effective tool for children and their families and how it could transform the public schools into a site of excellent education for children with disabilities rather than a mechanism that diverts resources from public schools to private schools.
Keywords: reforms, public education, African Americans, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, private school, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, public school, children with disabilities
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