Education Policy: Research: Historical Overview: Ford:

Federal Education Policy and the States, 1945-2009

The Ford Years: Special Education - P.L. 94-142

In 1974, the reauthorization of the ESEA boosted federal aid to special education from $100 million (in 1974) to $660 million (in 1975). These grants, like all grants to the disabled, flowed to school districts regardless of their wealth. By far the largest federal program for the education of the handicapped came in 1975, however, with the passage of the landmark Education for All Handicapped Children Act, known by its legislative number, P.L. 94-142. This law had the support of major interest groups, including the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the National Education Association (NEA), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Committee for the Full Funding of Education (CFFE), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS), National Association for Retarded Children (NARC), and others. It also had the support of commissioner of education, Sidney Marland, who had replaced interim commissioner Terrel Bell, who, in turn, had replaced James Allen.

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