|Home > News > IDEA 2002 > IDEA Reauthorization Hearing (March 21, 2002)|
March 21, 2002. I attended yesterday's hearing in Washington, DC. In addition to Senator Kennedy, the Chair, Senators Jeffords, Reed (RI) and Wellstone were present for much of the hearing. Senators Harkin, Clinton and Mikulski were present for part of the hearing. Senator Collins was present at the beginning. Senator Sessions came in to make a few points and left. Senator Bond was in and out.
In addition to Lily Diaz and Dr. Pasternak, the panel included a mom from Iowa and three others. One is a special ed director from Montana is who also the chair of the sp/ed directors association.
can report my observations.
Full Funding of IDEA
funding is clearly supported strongly by some, including Senators Kennedy,
Jeffords, Harkin, Reed, and Clinton. Senator Clinton said we cannot
wait another minute much less another year for full funding.
Jeffords said full funding was imperative (for Part B and C) and would
provide the resources needed to assure that no child was left behind.
Kennedy asked Lily Diaz about compliance tools and whether the tools
or the failure to use them was the problem.
The "Right Children"
Dr. Pasternak repeatedly said that we have to make sure that the "right
children are being identified and receiving special education,"
Senator Jeffords said you've said 3 or 4 times that we need to make
sure the "right children..." and asked what Pasternak meant
by the right children.
Lily said that she must be living a different place but that in Miami she doesn't see that much paperwork. She suggested that if technology is properly used, paperwork should not be overwhelming.
Senator Sessions asked Pasternak whether paperwork, lawsuits, and behavior were problems. Pasternak said 'yes'. Senator Sessions was not present for Lily's testimony or the rest of the hearing.
Senator Mikulsi wanted to know whether care-giver supports could be
built into the law. Pasternak answered by saying there was a lot of
teacher burnout or compassion fatigue. Mikulski restated her question
and Pasternak said he'd like to talk to her about the issue.
Wellstone mentioned that he opposes cuts in the president's budget for
mental health for children.
Senator Kennedy asked Pasternak what they were thinking with regard to getting more qualified teachers in special education. He said they were working with colleges and universities.
Senator Clinton wanted to know whether the administration would have a bill and when. Pasternak said after they get the recommendations from the Special Education Commission (on which he sits ex officio), possibly mid summer.
Discipline was identified as an issue to address but there was not a lot of discussion about this.
echoed Chapters 3 and 14 in the Fordham report ("Rethinking Special
Education" - available through Fordham Foundationwebsite) on how
current monitoring and enforcement is too focused on what he calls the
compliance model rather than on outcomes for kids.