A Powerful Advocacy Tool
Your State Advisory Panel

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November 4 , 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 460
Subscribers: 65,065

In This Issue:

The Most Powerful Tool in IDEA 2004

Get Involved! with your State Advisory Panel

8 Tips for Talking to Your Child About the Election

Education Roadmap to the 2008 Elections

Election Information You Need

Election Fatigue? Check Out Indecision 2008


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Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043

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Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

I Voted TodayElection Day 2008! This day will be an historic day in our country, regardless of the outcome of the election.

Don't miss your chance to be part of history! Don't miss your chance to exercise your power to vote!

You are your child's most important role model. If you do not exercise your right to vote, it is unlikely that your child will vote either. Vote Today!

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, Sue Whitney explains another powerful tool - and the most overlooked in IDEA 2004 - the State Advisory Panel. We've also included some election resources and the reminder to exercise your power by voting today.

Don't hesitate to forward this issue to other families, friends, and colleagues.

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The Most Powerful Tool in IDEA 2004

Do you think special education in your community or state needs to be strengthened or improved? Then you need to think about becoming a member of your State Advisory Panel.

Each state has an advisory panel. The panel provides your State Department of Education guidance about special education and related services for children with disabilities.

  • Does the quality of special education services in your school district or state need to be improved?
  • Are the educational needs of children with disabilities going unmet?
  • Do special education teachers and related service providers need better training?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," you should consider becoming a member of your state advisory panel.

Get Involved! Help Ensure Quality Special Education Services

Your state advisory panel can help ensure that the quality of special education services and service providers improves and that your state special education regulations are consistent with the federal special education regulations published in August 2006.

Members must be representative of the population in the state and must be "individuals involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with disabilities, including -

  1. parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26);
  2. individuals with disabilities;
  3. teachers;...

Find out more about how to get involved. Read The Most Powerful Advocacy Tool in IDEA 2004 by Sue Whitney.

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8 Tips for Talking to Your Child About the Election

Vote 2008Scholastic.com helps your kids learn about the peculiar, unique process of choosing an American president.

Here are 8 tips for talking with your child about the election.

  1. Consider your child's age and sensitivity.
    If your child is 8 years old or younger,too many details can lead to confusion or unnecessary worry.
    For older kids...
  2. Watch together. Children of all ages have instant access to information and images, so it's up to you to help make sense of it all.
  3. Ask questions. Incorporate his concerns, questions and opinions into your discussions.
  4. Seek out sources for news created specially for kids. ...find age-appropriate information, articles and activities on current events topics that are of interest to children.
  5. Make the school to home connection. Talk to your child's teacher to find out what they are discussing in class.
  6. Support your child's desire to learn more. Check out books from the library, watching documentaries, or attending museum exhibits.
  7. Help her get involved. Kids can share their opinions in polls, or raise money for their favorite candidates...
  8. Take a break. Monitor or even limit TV viewing, Internet access, and reading materials so he doesn't become overwhelmed. 

Learn how to "bring the presidential campaign home" to your children. Read the details of Scholastic's 8 Tips and link to the Parent's Guide to the 2008 Presidential Elections.

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Education Roadmap to the 2008 State and National Elections

Go toK-12 Campaign 2008 Education Weekon Election Night.

Education Week’s top political reporters will be posting continuously on education-related races and ballot measures across the nation.

You'll find multi-media resources and coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign issues and election results.

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Election Information You Need

Vote 411 Make sure you vote today! If you need help, use the Presidential General Election Voter's Guide at Vote411.org.

Have questions about where to vote or what time the polls close?

Find your polling place - Type in your address and get the location of your polling place.

Find your state voting details - Get information about the electoral process in your state.

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Election Fatigue? Check Out Indecision 2008

Are you suffering from "election fatigue"? Need a break from ads and polls?

Indecision 2008 from Comedy CentralCheck out Indecision 2008 by Comedy Central for news, videos, polls, games, puns, and an irreverent examination of the issues of the campaign -- from accessories and associates to education and values.

Colbert for PresidentOn Tuesday night, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Join Forces for a Live Election Night Special. "See the towering giants of fake news reunite for their hour-long Election Night special, Indecision 2008: America's Choice, 11/4 at 10 pm EDT, 9 pm Central."

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