Discipline Discussions: Our Discipline Policies Reflect Our Priorities

Discipline and Behavior: Our Discipline Policies Reflect Our Priorities

 1,591,473

Valerie C. Williams Director, Office of Special Education Programs Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

By Valerie C. Williams
Director, Office of Special Education Programs

1,591,473

This is the total number of disciplinary removals students with disabilities experienced over the 2019-20 school year. Each removal represents a child’s time away from their typical learning environment: time away from their teachers, their peers, and their friends. For many children with disabilities, particularly those who find comfort in routines, it can be an uprooting and distressing experience. It is hard for a child to learn when they are removed from their class.

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Discipline Discussions: The Impact and Harm of Exclusionary Discipline 

Discipline Discussions Banner - Introduction

Valerie C. Williams Director, Office of Special Education Programs Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

By Valerie C. Williams
Director, Office of Special Education Programs

Over seven million children with disabilities and their families rely on the effective, high-quality implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to support a lifetime of success.

Make no mistake about it, IDEA — and the rights and protections it affords — impacts a child’s future, how they view themselves as learners today and leaders tomorrow. In fact, the National Center for Educational Outcomes estimates that 85–90% of children with disabilities can be expected to achieve at grade-level when they are provided with the best instruction, supports, and accommodations. Indeed, the promise of IDEA rests with the full implementation of the law.

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47 Years Later, Are We Delivering on the Promise of IDEA?

IDEA -- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act -- 1975 > Present
By Valerie C. Williams, Director, Office of Special Education Programs

Forty-seven years ago, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) opened the doors for children with disabilities. At the time IDEA was passed in 1975 (originally named the Educational for All Handicapped Children Act, or Public Law 94-142), Congress found that children with disabilities were excluded entirely from the public school system. The passage of IDEA meant that no more children with disabilities could be turned away from school and required that they have available to them “a free appropriate education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs.”

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