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IDEA News:
Congress Schedules Reauthorization Meeting on November 17

On Friday, November 12, 2004, the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives issued a Media Release about a November 17 meeting to finalize the bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

House & Senate Conferees to Meet Wednesday to Finalize Bipartisan Special Education Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Members of the U.S. House and Senate will meet next week in hopes of completing a final, bipartisan special education reauthorization bill that can be signed into law before the end of the 108th Congress. The bipartisan House-Senate conference will reconcile differing versions of legislation passed by the House and Senate to strengthen and renew the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the nation's special education law.

The conference meeting will be held Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 2:30 p.m. in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The conference meeting will be open to the public and the press.

The House-Senate conference will be chaired by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), chairman of the House Education & the Workforce Committee. 

Senate conferees are (Republican) Senators Gregg, Frist, Enzi, Alexander, Bond, DeWine, Roberts, Sessions, Ensign, Graham (SC), and Warner; (Democratic) Senators Kennedy, Dodd, Harkin, Mikulski, Jeffords, Bingaman, Murray, Reed, Edwards, and Clinton. 

House conferees are (Republican) Reps. Castle, Ehlers, Keller, Wilson (SC), Barton, Bilirakis, Sensenbrenner, and Smith (TX); (Democratic) Reps. Miller (George), Woolsey, Owens, Dingell, and Conyers.

The House passed IDEA reauthorizing legislation authored by Education Reform Subcommittee Chairman Mike Castle (R-DE) in April 2003. The Senate passed its version of the legislation in May 2004. 

Legislators in both parties have called for changes that would refocus the IDEA to improve education results for students with disabilities, reduce the paperwork burden on special education teachers, and align the special education law with bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act, which gives strong new rights and protections to parents and children with disabilities.

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero or David Schnittger
(202) 225-4527
[End of News Release]

Is it Time?

Will the IDEA be reauthorized next week?

Frankly, it's impossible to know what Congress will do. Now that the election is behind them, Congress may decide to reauthorize the IDEA before they adjourn this session of Congress.

Reauthorization Issues, , Resources, Talking Points

To learn about probable changes when the law is reauthorized, we encourage you to download and read the side-by-side comparison of IDEA-97, and the House and Senate bills prepared by the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. (NAPAS).  (This is a large file so be patient when you download)


For news, progress reports, and other important information about the IDEA Reauthorization, please go to the IDEA Reauthorization News Page.

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