Before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act became law in 1975, millions of children with disabilities received inadequate education – or even none at all. IDEA represented a major step forward, not only because it improved education for students with disabilities and gave them a chance to reach their full potential in life, but because it recognizes that these students should be treated with equality and dignity.
Senator Murray believes IDEA should protect the civil rights of students and children with disabilities and ensure their access to a free, appropriate public education. This means ensuring that infants, toddlers, students, and families get the special education and other services they need. And it means protecting children with disabilities and their families. IDEA needs to be workable for parents, teachers, and administrators, to give parents the tools they need to be active in their children’s education, and to improve the support structure that allows teachers and administrators to run successful classrooms and schools.
When Congress reauthorizes IDEA, she will continue to work to improve the program and ensure that children with disabilities receive high-quality education and services from early childhood through high school graduation.