Staying Vigilant

The EHA was reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990 and 2004. The latter version revised the statute to mesh with requirements of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). “For special education, the ‘worst is over,’’’ lifelong Indiana education advocate Amy Cook Lurvey wrote in 2005. “Challenges remain, but the reauthorization of IDEA and the impact of NCLB will drive the necessary system change in public education that will ultimately insure educational improvement for all children.” 

A decade after Lurvey’s observations, education advocates were continuing to defend IDEA and other legislation from measures aimed at dismantling or weakening them. “What I'm seeing now is we're fighting the same battles that we fought back in the late '80s and early '90s,” Pat Howey said in 2016. Indiana Disability Rights and parent organizations such as IN*SOURCE and ASK: About Special Kids, Inc. continue to support parents to advocate for their children with disabilities to be full participants in Indiana’s educational systems. “Unfortunately, parents have to stay vigilant.” 


In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court strengthened the provisions of IDEA when it ruled (in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District) that school districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, "appropriately ambitious" progress.