This video gives a good overall history of IDEA. It just barely touches the surface, but it's a good place to start. I found it helpful for educators who are new to learning about the rights of special education students.
Compared to low-income populations, individuals with disabilities live in poverty for longer and more intense periods of time. They have more hard expenses such as medical bills and medical equipment necessary for their disability.
SPED students who do not have equitable access to education not only face issues in academics, but also in employment, postsecondary education programs, and access to adult community services. SPED students have higher drop-out rates. Districts are always talking about drop-out rates, but I seldom hear about these rates in relation to special education students.
Some of the challenges that IDEA faces involves overidentifying and underidentifying certain groups with disabilities. I find this in my classroom often and it is infuriating to see minority students overrepresented in my classroom as students with moderate special needs when they should actually be receiving resources for a learning disability or other institutional issues that place them in my classroom.
This article discussed how SPED students are denied access to employment, postsecondary education programs, and adult community services which leaves many individuals with disabilities living in poverty. When I taught in special education classrooms, I always felt that our classroom, put at the end of the school was isolated. Although we try to give the best support to our students, we need to talk about what happens after they leave public school.
Dropout rates correlate with higher arrest and incarceration rates, higher unemployment rates, lower wages, less access to postsecondary education, and more negative health and social outcomes, (i.e. substance abuse). Again, we are talking about drop-out rates but we should be talking more about these rates in relation to students with special needs.
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a new form of assessment given to students in both special education and general education students. This assessment is given to students before they are placed in special services and often involves the social worker to take part on the RTI team.