Debra Chopp


This article highlights the myriad forces that impede the realization of the IDEA's goals. Part II gives an overview of the history of special education and the special education process under the IDEA, particularly as it relates to the cooperative development of an individualized education program (IEP) for a disabled child. Part III examines features of the special education process that operate to the systematic detriment of parents, particularly low-income parents, and prevent them from securing an “appropriate education” for their children. What Part III does is assemble these critiques and add one that has not received attention: the ability of some school districts to obtain insurance to cover their litigation costs should parents sue them under the IDEA, and the effect that this insurance has on the special education process. Part IV concludes with an overview of recent scholarly suggestions for improvement and observations based on my experience practicing special education law.