The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
March 19, 2004

ISSN: 1538-3202

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Alert - National Call Your Senators Day is Wednesday, March 24, 2004

In November, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) "reported out" a bill to amend Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.) and to reauthorize Parts C and D. The full Senate is expected to vote on this bill soon.

This bill, S. 1248, contains many harmful provisions. If it is allowed to become law, these provisions will hurt children and youth with disabilities and erect more barriers for families who are trying to work with school districts to plan effective education programs for their sons and daughters.

Even worse, the Senate HELP Committee agreed to allow several harmful amendments to be introduced when S. 1248 moves to the full Senate for a vote this spring.

We cannot just sit and wait for this to happen.

We cannot allow S.1248 to move forward unless civil rights for students with disabilities are protected, research-based educational practices are restored, and responsibilities that should be shared by school districts are addressed and made clear in IDEA.

Parents and advocates must make sure that every Senator understands that the current bill is not accept-able to the parents and children they represent, that they must not let any bill containing provisions that damage children and youth go forward in Congress this year, or ever!

What can you do?

On Wednesday, March 24, call your Senators and say "VOTE NO!" to S. 1248.

To get the names and contact information of your Senators, go to www.senate.gov or call the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

When you call, tell your senator's staff that you want your senator to vote No to S. 1248. You do not have to give reasons for opposing the bill. If you do want to give reasons, you may say S. 1248 will weaken IDEA and hurt children with disabilities. Your Senator's staff will tally the calls, so every call counts.

Please take 5 minutes to help our kids!

Learn More About IDEA Reauthorization

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. If you are a teacher or special education service provider, the reauthorized law will affect you and your job.

To learn why S. 1248 is a bad IDEA, read Parents Urge Senate to Vote "No"  and Advocacy Groups Speak Out, Organize. Read IDEA Talking Points.

Visit Our Children Left Behind for materials you can use when you contact your Senators.

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 comparision 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  (This is a large file so be patient when you download)

If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?

National Call Your Senators Day is part of the March 24 -March 25 Washington Event conceived in the hearts of parents and advocates across the nation, with the support of TASH, ourchildrenleftbehind, the League of Special Education Voters , the Association for People in Supported Employment, and NconSD.

Download Word and pdf versions of this flyer

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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: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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