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DIGEST OF LEGISLATION FOR EDUCATION OF
Introduction This study is concerned with legislation for the education of crippled children. Provisions relating to the physical and medical care and treatment of such children are not included. Neither is there an attempt to cover the rehabilitation laws operating in most of the States. Legislation for the education of crippled adults has rapidly increased in recent years. All of the States except Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Kentucky, Vermont, and Washington are now cooperating with the Federal Government under the terms of the national civilian vocational rehabilitation act. The national rehabilitation act is broad enough in scope to include vocational training for all persons of disability, whether congenital or caused by accident or disease. Under the rehabilitation laws of many of the States numerous crippled persons including both minors and adults receive vocational education.
The earliest attempts to provide care and education for crippled children were prompted by private charity. A few private institutions for this purpose were established in America during the latter half of the nineteenth century. That the State should provide education for crippled children and give them a chance to lead independent lives is a growing conviction, and the history of the education of such children in America shows the gradual transition from private to public responsibility. This transition is not yet complete. Only a & few of the States have laws providing special public-school classes for 5 such children. The first public-school classes for cripples in the
United States were opened in Chicago in 1899. Similar classes were opened in New York in 1906.1
Minnesota was apparently the first State to provide by legislation 5 for public care and treatment of crippled children. Chapter 289 of
1897 Laws of Minnesota authorized the board of regents of the State University of Minnesota to make provisions for the care and treatment, including medical and surgical attention, in some hospital, forindigent crippled children of the State. This law did not expressly provide for the education of such children. Chapter 81 of 1907 Laws of Minnesota expressly authorized that provision be made for their education. In the meantime, however, the Massachusetts Legisla
ture (ch. 446, Laws of 1904) established the Massachusetts School and Home for Crippled and Deformed Children for the purpose of providing education and care for crippled and deformed children of the Commonwealth. Consequently, Massachusetts appears not only to be the first State to have provided public education in general, but also the first to have established at public expense a school for crippled children.
The first legislative enactments on this subject tended to provide for the establishment of a State institution where crippled children could be sent. The tendency of more recent legislation has been to provide education for such children by means of special classes in local districts.
As will be seen from the following table and digest, the laws here reviewed vary in many respects. Some expressly mention "crippled" children; others refer to defective or disabled children. Some require and others authorize special classes. Some require and others authorize State aid, etc. For the purpose of publication the provisions have been arranged in three divisions; namely, local aid, State regulation, and State aid. The first and last divisions are subdivided according as the aid is authorized or required.
Principal features of laws relating to the education of crippled children 1
1 In the District of Columbia, the board of education has ruled that “Any pupil with serious mental or physical defects, may
* be segregated in special classes after appropriate examination of said pupil." (By-laws and Rules of the board of education of the District of Columbia, page 48.)
"Crippled" children not expressly mentioned in the law. 3 City school boards. 4 Boards of education in cities of the first class. • To institution where treatment and education are to be given,
DIGEST OF LAWS BY STATES
(1919 Laws, art. 8, p. 567) I. Local aid.-Authorized: The city board of education is authorized to establish and maintain or aid in establishing and maintaining special schools for defective children (cripples not expressly mentioned).
II. State regulation.- None mentioned.
(1618 P. C. (1921) as amended by ch. 585, 1927 Laws) I. Local aid.-Authorized: District school boards are authorized, if any crippled children in district, to provide suitable educational opportunities by special classes or visiting teachers and other methods approved by State department; provided that no child shall be required to take advantage of such special opportunities when the parents show that the child is receiving adequate educational advantages. They may also furnish transportation and necessary services. Upon the approval of the State department of education the district may employ a special teacher-coordinator who shall make a study of employment and educational possibilities and assist in coordinating school work with commercial and industrial pursuits. The department of labor and industrial relations shall through the State employment service cooperate in the placement of physically handicapped children.
Required: When special classes are maintained the district school board shall keep a record of attendance or hours of visiting instruction (one hour of visiting instruction to be counted as one day). To report annually to State department special-class attendance and expenditures therefor. To provide for individual counseling and guidance in social and vocational matters for each pupil enrolled.
If any child is unable to walk to class, transportation must be provided.
The county superintendent is required to estimate cost of instruction to handicapped, adding one-half of excess cost per such pupil to average cost of each normal pupil and report amount required to be raised by taxes.
Children of school age must be registered annually by parent or guardian.
II. State regulation - The State superintendent has general supervision of methods and standards of instructing crippled children.
III. State aid.-Required: Where State-approved special class or instruction is maintained the State is required to pay excess current operating cost for special instruction over and above that for educating equal number of regular pupils in average attendance for like period; but not to exceed $200 for each elementary pupil and $100 for each high-school pupil annually.
(1921 Laws, ch. 355; 1923 Laws, ch. 69) I. Local aid.—Authorized: Any town or district having "educationally exceptional children” may provide special instruction. Districts may combine for such purposes and may transport to and from places where medical or surgical attention may be given (1927 Laws, ch. 219). If any indigent crippled child,
sound in mind, be in the district, the probate court may, if it find such child proper subject, upon application by selectmen of town where the child resides, commit child to “Newington Home for Crippled Children” for such time as court may deem proper; provided the said home can care for the child. If the cost of child in said home exceeds $8 per week, the excess shall be charged to parent, or if parent is a pauper, to the town, but the town shall not pay more than $2 a week per child.
Required: Upon petition approved by State department of parents or guardians of 10 or more "educationally exceptional children" ("all children over 4 and under 16 years of age, who, because of mental or physical handicap, are incapable of receiving proper benefit from ordinary instruction and who, for their own or the social welfare, need special educational provisions”) the board of school visitors, town school committee, or board of education shall establish a school for such “educationally exceptional school children” er shall provide instruction in some other way.
The board shall make regulations requiring enumeration and reporting of all "educationally exceptional children.” “No educationally handicapped child shall be deprived of school privileges except with the express approval of the secretary of the State board of education, and every child so excluded shall be brought immediately to the attention of proper authorities to insure adequate protection and training for the child.”
II. State regulation.—No child shall be committed to the “Newington Home for Crippled Children" without the approval of the governor.
III. State aid.- Authorized: When indigent children are cared for in the "Newington Home for Crippled Children," upon approval of the governor, the State is authorized to pay $8 a week for support of each child committed to said home,
(Act of June 19, 1923, amended June 30, 1925) I. Local aid.--Authorized: Any school district may establish and maintain classes and schools for instruction of resident crippled children between 5 and 21 years of age; may employ a principal and necessary attendants for such schools; and shall prescribe the method of discipline and course of instruction.
Required: School districts having crippled children must appropriate annually a sum equal to the total per capita cost of educating a like number of norinal children, to be known as the "crippled children's instruction fund," which shall be used wholly for instruction of such children; and to furnish the director of public welfare with account of cost of such classes and instruction and care of such pupils over the average cost of instruction of normal children. The truant officer is required to report and enroll every crippled child annually.
II. State regulation.--Teachers must possess the usual qualifications required for public schools and such special training as State superintendent may require as a condition upon which State aid is allowed.
III. State aid.-Required: When any district reports cost of special instruction exceeding cost of instruction of normal children, the State must pay annually to the board of education maintaining such classes the aggregate excess cost of such instruction over the average cost of instruction of normal children; provided such excess cost shall not exceed $300 a pupil per annum; and provided that such classes shall be subject to the supervision of the State superintendent.
The act of June 30, 1925, created for two years a "crippled children's commission” of nine members, to inquire into the work being done by public and private agencies in the care, cure, and education of crippled children, and to report to the governor and to the next general assembly its recommendation for the more efficient coordination and improvement of this work.
DIGEST OF LAWS BY STATES
(1927 Laws, ch. 211)
1. Local aid.—Authorized: Any local school corporation having 10 or more children who, “on account of physical disability, can not be taught advantageously in the regular classes” (cripples not expressly mentioned) is authorized to establish and organize special classes for such children; or to do so jointly with another school corporation, prorating the cost on the basis of average daily attendance; provided such classes shall be approved by the State board of education.
School corporations may provide transportation for children who are enrolled in special classes in cases where such children are physically unable to reach the school or where the distance from home to the place of special instruction is greater than that to the regular school. They are also authorized to provide lunches without cost.
Local superintendents may have children physically examined to ascertain suitable types for special classes but “no child shall be obliged to submit to a medical or physical examination whose parent or guardian objects to such an examination." Where there are fewer than 10 children of physical disability local school corporations are authorized to arrange for transfer of such children to another school corporation having a special class and to pay actual cost of instruction in said class.
Annual enumeration of crippled children implied from the regular schoolcensus provision.
II. State regulation.—The State board of education shall adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations deemed necessary for the administration of special classes and prescribe forms of reports to be used by school corporations in claiming State reimbursement.
III. State aid.-Required: If any district maintains a special class or provides special instruction by transfer to another school corporation the State is required to reimburse such district to an amount equal to three-fourths of the cost of such instruction in excess of the cost of instruction of the same number of children in regular classes, based on average daily attendance; to be paid out of the common-school revenue fund. The State superintendent when making semiannual apportionment, shall reserve from the common-school revenue fund sufficient amount to pay all such claims.
I. Local aid.-Authorized: Boards of education in cities of the first class are authorized to use any funds realized from local taxation in such amount as is reasonably necessary to provide for transportation of crippled children to and from public schools.
II. State regulation.-None mentioned.
(1920 Laws, Act 74)
1. Local aid.-Authorized: Parish school boards are authorized "to organize and maintain special classes or schools for the benefit of * * * physically