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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
June 16, 2003


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IDEA ALERT - Your Feedback Needed on Senate Bill 1248

Letter Writing Tips

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IDEA Reauthorization News

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IDEA ALERT - Your Feedback Needed on Senate Bill 1248!

The Senate version of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was introduced on Thursday, June 12, 2003.

You can read a five-page summary of Senate Bill 1248 from National Association of Protection and Advocacy Services:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/idea/senatebill.summary.pdf

You can download the full text of the bill from the HELP Committee website at:

http://health.senate.gov/bills/013_bill.html or
http://health.senate.gov/calendars/all.html

You can provide feedback in person or in a letter or email to the Senate Committee.

Meetings

The Senate HELP Committee will conduct bipartisan meetings so groups and individuals will have an opportunity to comment on the bill.

Meetings will be scheduled at 20-MINUTE INTERVALS,from 10:00 am -- noon, and 1 PM - 6 PM on these days:

Monday, June 16, 2003
Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - RALLY DAY!
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Thursday, June 19, 2003

Meetings will be in the HELP Committee Conference room, 428 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

To schedule a meeting, please contact Aaron Bishop at 202-224-6770. Please request a specific date and time, and provide the number of people attending, group/organization name, and contact information
(email address and phone number) for the person who is scheduling the meeting.

You may also contact Aaron by e-mail at idea_feedback@labor.senate.gov In the subject line of your email, type: "Aaron - IDEA Feedback Meeting." He will confirm the meeting via email/phone.

The Committee encourages groups with similar interests to schedule meetings together, if possible. Meeting times will be scheduled on a first-come/first-serve basis, and the 20-minute time limit will be strictly enforced.

Comments by Letter or Email

The Committee will also receive responses to the bill via email at: idea_feedback@labor.senate.gov or by fax at 202-228-0929.

Emailed and faxed responses should be sent to the attention of and titled "Annie and Connie - IDEA Reauthorization Feedback."

Please note that this email address and fax number will only be available from Thursday, June 12, 2003 through Friday, June 20, 2003.

The Committee Mark-up date is scheduled for June 25th.

Learn about the IDEA Rally: http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2003/idea.rally.htm

Your Role

If you are the parent of a child with a disability, you represent your child's interests. You need to stay informed about changes to the law that may affect your child. If you are a teacher or special education service provider, the reauthorized law is likely to affect you and your job.

We encourage you to read the Summary of IDEA Senate Bill by NAPAS - this document will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of the bill. Please share your concerns with the Senators - they seem to be open to feedback from parents.

Please distribute this Alert: http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/03/al.0616.htm


Tips for Writing Letters to Congress

Here are some tips about writing letters to members of Congress.

1. Personal stories are important. Explain how your child, or a child for whom you advocate, will be hurt by the proposed changes.

2. Explain what you like or do not like about the proposed bill. Why do you think part of this bill may harm children or lead to increased costs to society if children with disabilities don't get the education they need to "prepare them for employment and independent living" (§1400(d) Purposes of IDEA statute)

3. Keep your letter short. Focus on one or two key points.

4. Offer to follow-up with a phone call or visit.

5. Send your letter by fax or email.

The HELP Committee will receive responses to the bill via email at idea_feedback@labor.senate.gov or by fax at 202-228-0929.
Emailed and faxed responses should be sent to the attention of and titled "Annie and Connie - IDEA Reauthorization Feedback."

Include your name and address at the top of your letter and sign it. Thank you!


Save up to $24.95 on Wrightslaw books - and free shipping! Sale Ends June 20, 2003

We are cutting inventory as we prepare to launch our new book, Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind this summer.

Get good deals, great deals, and super deals in our Spring Into Summer Sale: http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/03/al.0528.htm

Save up to $24.95 on Wrightslaw books - and get free shipping!

Internet Orders: http://www.wrightslaw.com/store/index.html

Mail, Fax & Phone Orders: http://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/orderform.htm


IDEA Reauthorization News

As the IDEA Reauthorization process unfolds, you need news, progress reports, and other important information. Bookmark the IDEA Reauthorization News page
http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/idea2002.htm

To learn more about the issues, including reports, surveys and recommendations about how the law may be changed, please visit the IDEA Resources page.
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/idea2002.resources.htm


Subscription & Contact Info

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Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


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