Who is Eligible Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act?

35 Journal of Law and Education 291 (2006)

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Research Paper

45 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2013

See all articles by Robert A. Garda

Robert A. Garda

Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law

Date Written: March 9, 2006

Abstract

Determining who is eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) has plagued decision-makers for over three decades, leading to both over- and under-identification of eligible children and the disproportionate identification of minority students as disabled. The statutory requirements for finding a child IDEA-eligible appear straightforward: a child must have an enumerated disability that adversely affects educational performance and by reason thereof the child must need special education. Application of these provisions has proven problematic, however, and the authorities are divided as to what constitutes "educational performance," when is it "adversely affected" by the disability, under what circumstances does a child "need" special education and what is "special education?" This Article explores the diverse interpretations of these terms by courts and hearing and suggests the proper application of each of the IDEA-eligibility requirements. Uniform eligibility determinations cannot be hoped for on a national level, as the definition of many of the key terms are left to the states, but this Article outlines the proper analytical framework for eligibility decisions.

Keywords: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, education law, disabilities

Suggested Citation

Garda, Robert A., Who is Eligible Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act? (March 9, 2006). 35 Journal of Law and Education 291 (2006), Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230983

Robert A. Garda (Contact Author)

Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law ( email )

7214 St. Charles Ave.
Campus Box 901
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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