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Volume 21, Issue 1 (1992)

Qualifications v. Logic and Data: Excluding Conduct Disorders From the SED Definition?

pp. 23—28

PL 94-142 is educational law, by nature a hybrid. Its interpretation not only benefits from, but in a certain sense requires, the participation of professionals from both law and education. Psychologists and educators were instrumental in helping legislators formulate the language in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and are called upon frequently in court cases as expert witnesses to help settle upon an interpretation of that law. Conversely, when conflict arises concerning the day-to-day interpretation of the law, hearing officers, attorneys, and judges become the arbiters of interpretation. From the moment important educational legislation such as PL 94-142 is promulgated, it is unrealistic to expect that attorneys will stay out of education and psychology, or that psychologists will avoid the topic of educational law.

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