In 1971, we brought the seminal lawsuit Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the first right-to-education suit in the country, to overturn that Pennsylvania law and secure a quality education for all children. The case quickly settled before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pa., resulting in a consent decree in which the state agreed to provide a free public education for children with mental retardation.
Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Only a few decades ago, children with intellectual disabilities did not have the right to a public education. In fact, Pennsylvania state law allowed public schools to deny services to children “who have not attained a mental age of five years” by the start of first grade.