|Home > News > IDEA Reauthorization - HR 1350 Passes House, Senate Bill Due Soon|
"QUOTE ."- Pete Wright
On April 30, 2003, the House of Representatives voted 251-171 to approve H. R. 1350, the Republican bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
New York Times reported, "The bill is intended to reduce the
number of students deemed learning disabled by helping struggling
children earlier. It is also intended to cut down on the paperwork
involved in special education, and reduce the legal expenses of states
that face lawsuits from parents seeking extra help for disabled children.
It passed 251 to 171, with 34 Democrats joining Republicans to support
"The Council for Exceptional Children, the Children's Defense Fund, and other groups representing disabled children and their parents stood squarely against today's bill."
Despite your calls and letters on National Call in Day, some Representatives said they knew nothing about H.R. 1350. [Read Pete's letter to our Representative, Joanne Davis]
We also learned that Republican Representatives received a "Dear Colleague Letter" advising them that they would receive calls on April 29, that these calls were part of a coordinated effort to spread false information about the bill, and that the calls and contacts would contain incomplete, misleading, and false info by "opponents of improving the nation's special education law." http://edworkforce.house.gov/issues/108th/education/idea/dcfacts042903.htm
Republican Members of Congress also received a letter in support of H. R. 1350 from the school administrators association.
bill is the first step in what may be a long process to reauthorize
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
intend to complete our bipartisan negotiations on the Senate version
of the IDEA reauthorization and introduce our bill by the Memorial
Day recess. We will mark-up the bill shortly thereafter."
the Senate committee introduces their bill to reauthorize the IDEA,
the bill may be amended based on input the Senate receives from others,
point, there will be two different versions of the IDEA. Members of
the House and Senate will meet to iron out the differences between
the two bills. If the House and Senate are not able to resolve their
differences, the reauthorization process will begin again next year.
working with Sue Heath, Wrightslaw Research Editor, to develop a Game
Plan that uses your state's educational results to:
your Senators about special education issues and outcomes, and
As Sue points out, Senators will base their decisions about IDEA on what they know about Washington and what they know about their states. It is important that we use facts to educate Senators. We will publish this Game Plan within the next few days.
In the meantime, your Homework Assignment is to get the educational outcomes for your state.
1. Download "State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I" (published by the U.S. Department of Education) - this publication has important information about your state's educational results.
Get your state's educational profile.
This will take you to the page with information about your state's educational results. Click the last link - "Printable version of this profile" - for a 2 page document that lists this information.
and Teacher Demographics
states, you will see the percentage of children who are proficient
in reading /language arts and math at different grade levels and in
various categories (race/ethnicity, low-income, limited English, children
with disabilities, migratory children).
3. Print several copies of your state's 2 page educational profile.
Ruppman, Director Governmental Relations for TASH, has this advice.
fax and email your Senators. Send letters to your local papers and
Bob Berlow, parent attorney and COPAA member, says,
the Senate bill is introduced, we will have two weeks to make a difference.
The Senate bill will go to mark up, and then to the Senate floor for
Parents, advocates, friends, and family should fax letters to your Senators NOW. Tell your Senator to reject the harmful provisions of H.R. 1350 and act to protect children with disabilities. It is important to educate the people who are writing this bill now, while the bill is being drafted.
Have friends, families, members of social clubs, houses of worship, etc. contact Congress. You never know who has a relative or friend who is politically connected. Private therapists, pediatricians, and health care providers can fax letters.
Twenty-one Senators are on the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee. These Senators (or their staff members) will draft the Senate bill. We need to educate these Senators now, while they are drafting the bill.
Candace Cortiella of the Advocacy Institute tells you how you can take action.
National Center for Learning Disabilities' Legislative Action Center
your Zip Code and click GO.
get some press on what Congress is doing to the rights of kids with