HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The departments of Human Services and Education and The Arc of Pennsylvania today released the following joint statement on the 45th anniversary of the Right to Education in Pennsylvania:
"Pennsylvania has long been a leader in recognizing and serving the needs of individuals with disabilities. Our commonwealth is the birthplace of the right to education for students with disabilities, and Pennsylvania's standards paved the way for national changes.
Forty-five years ago today the commonwealth and The Arc of Pennsylvania (then called Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children) signed an agreement requiring that all children 6 to 21 years old with disabilities receive a free public education by September 1, 1972.
Each child was to be offered an education appropriate to his or her learning capacities with a clear preference for educating children in regular public school classrooms.
In 1975, the "right to a full and appropriate education" was codified and extended to all children in the nation by the U.S. Congress as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Pennsylvania led the way in what may be the most significant step in history for children with disabilities. Since this landmark agreement, every child has had the right to attend public school with their brothers, sisters, and friends, setting the stage for a life of full participation in their communities as co-workers, neighbors, and citizens of the commonwealth.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Rachel Kostelac, DHS, 717.425.7606
Nicole Reigelman, PDE, 717.783.9802
Maureen Cronin, The Arc of Pennsylvania, 717.234.2621
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; Pennsylvania Department of Education