Hastings Journal on Gender and the Law


The pending reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) alters the landscape of special education for parents and advocates of children with special needs. The proposed modifications are based on an effort to reduce the bureaucracy associated with the current procedural safeguards and to incorporate the concept of accountability embodied in the No Child Left Behind Act. Many advocates are waiting with apprehension for the final version of the bill due to the philosophical changes that it will bring to special education federal law. This article gives an overview of the pending legislation and urges advocates to adapt to the new legal landscape. Despite the difficulty of witnessing modification of the IDEA, the advocacy tools needed to adapt to the new legislation are already in place and new tactics can be developed to mitigate the damaging changes.