Opportunity Act Update
KEEP UP THE GREAT
WORK! All of our hard work (phone calls and letters) is paying off. Each
week we are adding more co-sponsors thanks to your stories. We are sending
the message to Congress on the importance of this legislation that will help
families of children with disabilities and special health care needs to
access needed Medicaid services (Health Care for our children). We will not
stop until we urge all of our Senators to co-sponsor this family friendly
legislation. Access the NPND
website for the summary and full text of this legislation.
Our Senators need
to know how important this act will be to families caring for a child with a
(T Stevens, AK;
F Murkowski, AK; J McCain, AZ;
W Allard, CO; C. Mack, FL; P. Coverdell, GA; M Crapo, ID; S Abraham, MI; R
Grams, MN; J Ashcroft, MO; C
Hagel, NE; M. Dewine, OH; G Smith, OR; R. Santorum, PA; A Specter, PA; W.
Frist, TN; F. Thompson, TN; K Hutchison, TX; R Bennett, UT; J Warner, VA; S.
AND CALL IF...You are unable to better your income because you would
lose your child's Medicaid. You have been told that you don't qualify
for the Medicaid that your child needs to fill in the gaps of an employee
health plan. All you need is Medicaid to help you keep your child at home
Please co-sponsor S. 2274, the
Family Opportunity Act. As a parent of a special needs child, I know first
hand the challenges of caring for a child with disabilities and special
health care needs. We are asking for your help. We need improved access to
special health care services. This bill would allow us, as parents, to pay a
premium for necessary Medicaid services for our child.
www.senate.gov / U.S. Capitol
with Senators Kennedy/Grassley
Senators Grassley and
Kennedy, co-sponsors of the Family Opportunity Act, have said they want to
hear from you on the importance and need of this piece of legislation. NPND
and friends will host a teleconference to allow you to share with the
Senators. NPND is still working on the logistics of this call and will share
more details as they become available.
on Cessation of Services Still Alive-
are concerned about an amendment to the discipline section of IDEA that
includes cessation of services offered by Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO). We
must act quickly to let Senator Ashcroft, as well as our own Senators, know
that we oppose any amendments to IDEA.
Ashcroft Amendment "To amend IDEA and the Gun- Free Schools Act of 1994
to allow school personnel to apply appropriate discipline measures to all
students in cases involving weapons, illegal drugs, and assaults upon
teachers, and for other purposes...school personnel may discipline (including
expel or suspend) a child with a disability in the same manner in which each
personnel may discipline a child without a disability..." Access the NPND
website for the full text of this Amendment.
Kathleen Boundy, Co-Director of the Center for Law and Education (CLE), wrote
a letter to Senators Kennedy and Harkin asking for support for "no
cessation of services." Below are excerpts of her letter. Access the NPND
website or the Center's website (www.cleweb.org)
for the full text.
"On behalf of students with disabilities, including those who may have
behavioral manifestations, the CLE urges you to continue to support the
"no cessation" of education principle originally adopted by P.L.
94-142 in 1975, and more recently incorporated in the reauthorized
IDEA Amendments in 1997. This core principle of P.L. 94-142 must not be
compromised, but protected and preserved. Reaffirmed by bipartisan agreement
following an especially contentious reauthorization process, it is essential
to all efforts to move forward with the promise of full implementation of the
1975 Act, as reaffirmed by the Amendments of 1997, ensuring full participation
in the general education curriculum to the maximum extent appropriate for all
students with disabilities...While CLE urges you to oppose the Ashcroft
Amendment to S.2 and any other similar attempts to amend IDEA - whether
through S. 254, the pending Juvenile Justice bill or new legislation,
specifically, we ask that there be no compromise in the face of such
amendments. There is no room for compromise on this matter, for any compromise
will eliminate the "no cessation" provision of the IDEA. This is a
matter of basic civil rights..."
Ashcroft, as well as your Senators, and tell them that we oppose any
amendments to IDEA.
Contact NPND when
you have spoken with or written to your Senators. Send NPND copies of
correspondences and we will deliver it personally to the Senator's
office. (see contact information below). Together we will let our voices
www.senate.gov / US Capitol
Ashcroft: Phone-202-224-6154; Fax-202-228-0998;