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Pre-1997 Amendments Post-1997 Amendments
Focused on special education services. Focuses on strategies to maintain students in general education programs.
Avoided focusing on the integration of special education services in the general education environment. Encourages a general education environment that includes an array of services designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
Relied on a system of labeling, categorizing, and placing students according to disability. Emphasizes the unique attributes of each student by requiring non-categorical special education services.
Supported self-contained and segregated educational programs. Supports developing and implementing innovative instructional models that increase the opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in the general education classroom.
Determined service placement according to category of disability; students often placed outside their home school district. Determines service placement according to the unique needs of each student, emphasizing delivery in the home school district.