IDEA Alert: Senate Passes Bill to Reauthorize IDEA by 95-3 Vote
On Thursday, May 13, the Senate passed S. 1248, the bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), on a 95-3 vote.Full Funding Amendments
Hagel (R-NE) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) proposed an amendment to fully
fund IDEA until the federal share reached 40 percent. The
Hagel/Harkin amendment failed by four votes. The Senate adopted an
amendment by Senator Gregg that authorized discretionary funding to
reach the 40 percent by 2011.
bill (S. 1248) is significantly different from the bill passed by
the House of Representatives last year (H.R. 1350). A joint House-Senate
conference committee will meet in an effort to resolve these differences.
Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. (NAPAS) published
a side-by-side comparison of H.R. 1350, S. 1248, and IDEA '97. You
can download this publication from their homepage or click
to download the side-by-side comparison in PDF.
After the House and Senate agree on a compromise bill, they will vote on the final version of the bill.
Although we cannot predict what Congress will do, it seems unlikely that the House and Senate will resolve their differences this year (an election year). If the conference committee does not develop a compromise bill that is acceptable to the Senate and House this year, IDEA will be reintroduced next year.
Note: When IDEA went through the reauthorization process in the mid-1990s, a similar scenario unfolded. The House and Senate passed different versions of IDEA. They were unable to resolve their differences. This led to a series of "off the record" closed hearings that allowed representatives and advocates to negotiate the bill that became IDEA-97.
We will keep newsletter subscribers updated on developments.
IDEA Reauthorization Issues
For news, progress reports, and other important information about the IDEA Reauthorization, please go to the IDEA Reauthorization News Page.
To learn more about the issues, including reports, surveys and recommendations about how the law may be changed, please visit the IDEA Resources page.
The National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. (NAPAS) published a side-by-side comparison of H.R.1350, S.1248, and IDEA '97. You can download this publication from their homepage or click to download the side-by-side comparison in PDF (Note: This is a large file so be patient when you download)
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