Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1995

Publication Source

Planning and Changing: An Educational Leadership and Policy Journal


With the passage of the Education for all Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) in 1975, the United States Congress sought to provide educational opportunity to all children. In 1990, with added amendments, the law was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Turnbull reported in 1993 that Congress had found approximately one-half of the nation's eight million children with disabilities were not receiving an appropriate education and about one million were receiving no education at all. Clearly, in the past two decades since the passage of the Education for all Handicapped Children Act school administrators have, on a daily basis, made decisions that either uphold or violate the rights of students With disabilities as they are set forth in the IDEA. The purpose of this study was to assess the status of administrators' understanding of this important federal mandate, specifically administrators-in-training at three universities. The critical role of the school administrator in the lives of children with special needs was the impetus of this investigation. How well are they prepared for decision-making? How well do they understand the mandates they are required to fulfill?

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


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Illinois State University College of Education





Peer Reviewed




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