Supreme Court Considers How Schools Support Students With Disabilities

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a dispute that advocates describe as the most important case involving public school special education in three decades.

At issue is whether federal law requires public schools to provide more than the bare minimum in special services for children with disabilities. With millions of children qualifying for these services, the court's ruling could have a profound effect.

In the 1970s, Congress found that most children with disabilities were treated as non-persons in the public schools, either "totally excluded" or left to sit "idly" in regular classrooms until they were old enough to "drop out."

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