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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
November 12, 2004


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ISSN: 1538-3202

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House & Senate to Meet on November 17 to Finalize IDEA Reauthorization

IDEA Reauthorization News, Resources & Talking Points

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IDEA Alert - Congress Will Meet on November 17 to Reauthorize IDEA

On Friday, November 12, 2004, the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives issued this Media Release to announce a meeting on November 17 to finalize the bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:

House & Senate Conferees to Meet Wednesday to Finalize Bipartisan Special Education Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Members of the U.S. House and Senate will meet next week in hopes of completing a final, bipartisan special education reauthorization bill that can be signed into law before the end of the 108th Congress. The bipartisan House-Senate conference will reconcile differing versions of legislation passed by the House and Senate to strengthen and renew the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the nation's special education law.

The conference meeting will be held Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 2:30 p.m. in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The conference meeting will be open to the public and the press.

The House-Senate conference will be chaired by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), chairman of the House Education & the Workforce Committee. 

Senate conferees are (Republican) Senators Gregg, Frist, Enzi, Alexander, Bond, DeWine, Roberts, Sessions, Ensign, Graham (SC), and Warner; (Democratic) Senators Kennedy, Dodd, Harkin, Mikulski, Jeffords, Bingaman, Murray, Reed, Edwards, and Clinton. 

House conferees are (Republican) Reps. Castle, Ehlers, Keller, Wilson (SC), Barton, Bilirakis, Sensenbrenner, and Smith (TX); (Democratic) Reps. Miller (George), Woolsey, Owens, Dingell, and Conyers.

The House passed IDEA reauthorizing legislation authored by Education Reform Subcommittee Chairman Mike Castle (R-DE) in April 2003. The Senate passed its version of the legislation in May 2004. 

Legislators in both parties have called for changes that would refocus the IDEA to improve education results for students with disabilities, reduce the paperwork burden on special education teachers, and align the special education law with bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act, which gives strong new rights and protections to parents and children with disabilities.

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero or David Schnittger
(202) 225-4527

[End of news release]

Is it Time?

Will the IDEA be reauthorized next week?

It is impossible to know what Congress will do. With the election behind them, they may decide to reauthorize the IDEA before they adjourn this session of Congress so they can move on to other issues next year.

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 will affect your child.

To learn about possible changes when the IDEA is reauthorized, please download and read the side-by-side comparison of IDEA-97, and the House and Senate bills prepared by the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. (NAPAS).  (This is a large file so be patient when you download)

When you review the side-by-side analysis, you will see that large portions of the Individuals with Disabilities Act will not change when the law is reauthorized.

Stay tuned - we'll keep you posted on these important issues. Download this IDEA Alert.

IDEA Issues, Resources, Talking Points

IDEA Reauthorization News.

To learn more about the issues, including reports, surveys and recommendations about how the law may be changed, please visit the IDEA Resources page.


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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.

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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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