Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills
you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.
- what can one person do; what one person IS doing; how to use Open
Records laws; A Call to Action; advocacy training programs in MS,
NY, OK; using flyers to educate others; free pubs about NCLB; accountability
follows money; what will YOU do this week?
1. What Can One Person Do?
Every where you look, you see information about No Child Left Behind. What does it mean? What can you do with it? What can you change with it?
Maybe you just need a few friends to get things rolling.
parent = A fruitcake
2. What One Person Is Doing
NCLB makes lots of information about schools and school districts available to the public. Find out what one person in Texas decided to do with this information. Follow his progress during the next year. And learn.
Kilpatrick's battle to make one Texas school district accountable.
3. How to Use the Open Records Laws in Your State
Tappings Official Secrets is a complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws. Each state's section is arranged according to a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws in various states.
Learn more about Open Records from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press site.
Read the NCLB law to find out what reports must be prepared annually. Don't forget - all reports and applications are public records.
Find out what the school board you elected has accomplished with your money.
4. Doing Your Homework: Using Flyers to Educate Others by Sue Heath
is Learning Disabilities Awareness month. Many organizations publish
information about disabilities, resources, and advocacy opportunities
available in the form of informational flyers.
flyers at schools, day care centers, public libraries, doctor's
and psychologist's offices, community centers, and hospitals.
Ask your child's tutor or advocate to pass them on.
your child's teacher to post flyers
in the teacher's lounge and guidance office. Ask your PTA or SEPTA
to distribute flyers.
5. A Call to Action - Richmond, VA (October 18, 2003)
join Pete and Pam Wright for "A Call to Action" at T.
C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond.
IDEA Amendments by Larry Searcy, Legislative Director, Center for Law Education
No Child Left Behind by Pam Wright, M.A., M.S.W. and Pete Wright, Esq.
Diploma Options (Will Kids with Disabilities Be Left Out?)
Coalition Building in Local Communities
If you would like to receive a brochure for A Call to Action - or you want several brochures to distribute to members of your community, please contact Cheryl Ward.
6. Join Pete and Pam for an Advocacy Training Program (MS, NY, OK)
"Your boot camp was the most useful CLE I've ever attended. CLEs are notoriously boring and unpleasant. Your program was neither and I learned a lot, even as an experienced practitioner in the field." - Rob Mead, KU Wheat Law Library
Wrightslaw training programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.
For more information about these events and programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.
7. Free Pubs About NCLB from the U.S. Department of Education
Publications from the U.S. Department of Education provide information about requirements and opportunities under NCLB. Here are a few recent publications.
Improving Teacher Quality, 9-12-03, Revised Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance
More publications from the U.S. Department of Education website
8. NCLB: Accountability Follows Money
Accountability follows the money under NCLB, but who has the money? States are supposed to make this information available. Sometimes, the information is hard to obtain.
The U.S. Department of Education provides information about Title I grants to all school districts and schools in the country.
Title I Allocations to School Districts - for every school district in every state
Title I Allocations to Individual schools - for every school in every state
When you go to this page, type the school you are interested in. A box will pop up with information about the school. Click "More Information" at the top of that box. A new screen will show. The second section of that box indicates whether the school receives Title I funds.
How much money are we talking about?
To hear some people talk, you would think fluctuations in federal education funding would lead to the end of education. What percentage of your state's education budget comes from the federal government? (You may be surprised when you find out!)
State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I - Click on the below link, then on the name of your state, then scroll down to Sources of funding.
9. What Will You Do This Week?
Millions of children attend underperforming schools. According to the Nations Report Card, National Center for Education Statistics:
36 percent of 12th graders are proficient in reading.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, The Nations Report Card, 2002.
What will you do this week to improve education outcomes for children in your community? You need to give this some thought. There is room for everyone.
Pass out a few flyers while you are fine-tuning your plan.
10. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.