Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press
 Home > News> IDEA 2003 > IDEA: Senators Listen to Parents, Advocates (July 2, 2003)


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Programs

Nov 21 - Temecula, CA

Dec 4 - OKC, OK

Jan 16 - Shreveport, LA

Jan 24 - Corpus Christi, TX

Jan 24 - Pensacola, FL

Jan 31 - Champaign, IL

Feb 19 - Lincroft, NJ

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergy/Anaphylaxis
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
ISEA
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 

Senators Listens to Parents, Advocates

On June 25, 2003, the Senate HELP committee approved S. 1248, a bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The Senate bill is very different from H.R. 1350 that was passed by the House of Representatives a few weeks ago. After hearing concerns expressed by parents and advocates, the Senate Calmat made several important changes to the bill.

What happens next?

The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill between July 7th and July 31. After the Senate votes, members of the House and Senate will meet and attempt to resolve significant differences between the two bills.

Your To-Do List: Please write a short thank you note or email to your Senators, especially if you corresponded with them earlier. Thank them for listening to the concerns of parents. You can do this quickly by going to the Legislative Action Center at http://capwiz.com/ld/issues/alert/?alertid=2588596&type=CO

Enter your Zip Code and click GO. You will see a sample letter about the Senate bill. Send your personalized thank-you letter by email to choose the "letter option" that will print and fax your letter to the Senators.

Because there are big differences between the House and Senate versions of the IDEA that must be resolved, it is not clear whether the IDEA will be reauthorized this year. We will keep our subscribers posted about IDEA Reauthorization news through the summer.

This article from The New York Times describes key provisions of the Senate bill.

Senate Panel Approves Bill for Students With Disabilities

June 26, 2003
By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO
The New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 25 - After 18 months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, a Senate committee today unanimously approved a bill reauthorizing educational services for the United States' 6.5 million disabled students, assembling a bipartisan stand on issues including discipline of unruly students and a reduction in paperwork.

A similar bill split Republicans and Democrats in the House this spring.

The swift approval, in a 10-minute session this morning by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, came in sharp contrast to the last reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, whose passage in 1997 was contentious.

The Senate bill preserves protections in current law for special-education children who misbehave in school, requiring schools to determine whether the misbehavior was
related to a disability. If not, the school could send the child to an alternative program during a suspension.

But the Senate bill repeals a current provision that lets a child remain in the original classroom while his family appeals the suspension order. It also shortens the deadline
for rendering such a decision to 20 days from 45.

The Senate bill won cautious praise today from advocates for the disabled, who had largely criticized the House bill.

James Wendorf, executive director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, lauded the committee for "legislation that is bipartisan, balanced and respectful of
the complex needs of our nation's 6.5 million students with disabilities."

The center praised the bill for easing mechanisms to identify children who need extra help at younger ages. It also commended its steps to help disabled teenagers with
the transition to life after high school.

Paul Marchand, a lobbyist for United Cerebral Palsy and The Arc, an organization representing people with developmental disabilities, called the Senate bill a "marked improvement" over the House version, particularly in its protections of disabled children who run afoul of school behavior codes. Under the House bill, schools could suspend or expel children who violate rules, without regard to their disabilities.

Some advocates for the disabled worried, for example, that diabetic children could be thrown out for eating in class, or that autistic children could be punished for behavior they could not always control.

School administrators, however, had praised the House bill for streamlining special education, reducing paperwork, and making it easier to maintain discipline. That bill passed the House on April 30 by a vote of 251 to 171, with 34 Democrats joining Republicans to support it.

Nancy Reder, deputy director of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, said: "We like what they did with discipline compared to the House bill. We think it represents a fair compromise with the disability community that didn't want any changes and our members."

The safeguards about discipline do not apply to disabled children who take guns, drugs or other weapons into schools, who are subject to expulsion and other measures like other students.

With the intention of reducing paperwork, the Senate bill removes current provisions for schools to write short-term goals into the educational plans of disabled children.

Today's Senate bill left unanswered one major question for every state and special education director and teacher: the amount of money the federal government will contribute to special education. Republicans and Democrats alike say they embrace the goal of fully financing special education by 2009, but Republicans say they would like the federal contribution to be discretionary while the Democrats contend it should be mandatory.

Mary Kusler, a legislative specialist for the American Association of School Administrators, which also supported the House bill, said her group saw the Senate's effort as "a starting point."

The association, Ms. Kusler said, was surprised and "incredibly disappointed" that today's bill did not call for mandatory full financing, or carry an appropriation level, and said that unless the federal contribution was mandatory, it would continue to fall short.

"They've demonstrated that even when they set out a goal in the budget, that isn't binding," she said.

With the bill headed to the Senate floor, many advocates wondered how a conference committee would reconcile the House and Senate versions of special education's future.

Senator Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who is the education committee chairman, said that "the fact that we come to the table with a bill that was reported out of committee with unanimous support puts us in a strong position."

You can also download this article from The New York Times site.

To Top

Home

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

What's New!

Now Shipping!

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Check it out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order


About the Book

To Order


Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order


To Order


Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
24.95
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)


Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)


Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95