MARCH 3, 2000
TOPICS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE:
**NEWS FROM THE HILL
**Line Item for PTIs
**Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
**Juvenile Justice Legislation
**Parent Information Resource Centers (PIRCs)
**Developmental Disabilities Act of 1999 (S. 1809)
**Families Opportunity Act of 2000
**The National Campaign to Fully Fund IDEA
**SUPREME COURT CASES ON THE ADA UPDATE
**NATIONAL YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
NEWS FROM THE HILL
*Line Item for PTIs
The President included a line item for Parent Training and Information Centers of $26 million in his proposed budget sent to Congress in February 2000. This would be an increase of $7.5 million, and is the largest proposed increase that any President has made in this program. It is only a "proposed" item. Each state needs to plan a strategy to educate their lawmakers to ensure that when the final budget is passed in late summer/early fall, that this proposed line item becomes a reality. NPND
will be working with the PTIs to help develop a national strategy.
*Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
Hearings were held this week on the reauthorization of ESEA. No adverse amendments to IDEA were proposed in the hearings, but rumors on the hill are that there will be IDEA amendments offered on the Senate floor when ESEA is debated. At the time of this writing, NPND does not know the status of ESEA and possible IDEA Amendments in the House.
ACTION Contact your members of Congress and tell them "NO HARMFUL AMENDMENTS TO IDEA."
*Juvenile Justice Legislation
The President has asked Congress to reconsider bringing the Juvenile Justice bill forward. As you will recall, before the last session ended, the conference committee assigned to resolve the differences between the House and Senate Juvenile Justice bills did not complete negotiations. Therefore, no action was taken. This legislation includes weakening amendments to IDEA that would result in the cessation of educational services for children with disabilities who bring guns/weapons to school.
ACTION: Contact your members of Congress and tell them to "REMOVE THE AMENDMENTS TO IDEA FROM THIS LEGISLATION."
*Parent Information Resource Centers (PIRCs)
The Senate is reviewing a bill: S.2, the Educational Opportunities Act that includes language regarding PIRCs under Goals 2000. The bill threatens the independence and parent-run status of these Centers.
ACTION Contact Senators Kennedy and Jeffords, as well as your own Senators.
Thank them for including PIRCs in S.2, but ask them to return the PIRCs (Title I, Part D of S. 2) to their current status--run by boards which are majority parents, and independent organizations that are not school-based.
*Developmental Disabilities Act of 1999 (S. 1809)
The DD Act is currently in the House Commerce Committee.
ACTION Contact members of the House Commerce Committee and urge them to take immediate action and adopt the Senate version, S. 1809, of the DD Act. The disability community supports the Senate version.
*Families Opportunity Act of 2000-Needs a big lift!!
Legislation introduced by Senators Grassley and Kennedy. This will be a major piece of legislation that will provide opportunities for families of children with disabilities to purchase into Medicaid. We need to keep this legislation moving. The proposed language can be accessed on the NPND website.
PARENT OPPORTUNITY-Take Action While members of Congress are working through the process and attempting to introduce this bill, there is something we can do as parents. Write to Senators Grassley and Kennedy, as well as to your Senator and share with them your stories. As this legislation comes together, let's ensure that it includes what we need!!!
*The National Campaign to Fully Fund IDEA
It is a national, nonpartisan, grassroots effort working together to improve education for all American children. On March 2 at 1:00 P.M., the group held a national press conference on the steps of the Capitol. For more information about NCFFI access the NPND website or contact NCFFI directly at: 603-271-3236.
*Contact Information For Senators and Representatives*
Both the Senate and House websites include ways to contact individual members, as well as Committee members.
U.S. Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121
You may also access the NPND website: www.npnd.org or call the NPND offices for more information: 202-463-2299
Supreme Court Cases On The ADA Update
The lawsuit, known as Alsbrook v. City of Maumelle, that claimed that
Congress exceeded its authority in imposing the ADA without having evidence
to show that the state and local governments had engaged in a historical
pattern of discrimination, has been settled. The case was to come before
the Supreme Court this spring.
A decision in the case, Matter of Sanon v. Wing, represents the first interpretation in New York State of the Supreme Court's 1999 ruling in Olmstead v. L.C. The decision requires State and City officials to allow three disabled people to continue using Medicaid-funded in-home care. The court ruled that the ADA guaranteed access to the in-home care program for the three petitioners.
National Youth Leadership Conference
It will be held June 24-28, 2000 in Bethesda, MD. The goal of the conference is to prepare the next generation of disability community leaders. Eligible applicants (must be between the ages of 18 and 24) will have an opportunity to meet with and learn from national disability leaders, public officials and other young leaders with disabilities from all over the country. The application deadline is April 15, 2000. For more information and to request an application packet, contact Isabelle Howes at
202-314-3471. To request an electronic copy of the application send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.