Today, we ask that you highlight an education issue of great importance to this country: special education. The federal government, under P.L. 94-142, has said that local schools must educate children with disabilities. This was an excellent decision to ensure that special needs children are educated in the least restrictive and most mainstream environment possible.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the federal government is required to pay 40% of the average cost of educating special needs children. Contributing to the cost is only fair, since it was the federal government that insisted that local schools undertake this responsibility. Today, however, the federal government is not living up to that promise and instead, is funding 7% of the bill.
At the local level, we have seen a shift in resources as a result of the federal government's failure to meet its responsibility. Since the federal government is unwilling to pay its promised 40%, local property taxpayers make up the difference. As a result, Washington has created an inappropriate and unfair conflict between children with disabilities and children without. We owe it to these children to live up to our responsibility and resolve this conflict.
Mr. President, you have proposed more than S40 billion in new education funding, without making any attempt to fully fund special education. The federal governments share remains at an unacceptable 7% under your budget, We should live up to our existing obligations under the law before we pursue new, expensive initiatives.
Senate Republicans have proposed adding $10 billion over the next seven years to fully fund special education. We ask that you show your support for special education by joining with our efforts to begin fully funding special education.
s: Judd Gregg Susan M. Collins Pat Roberts
Bob Smith Slade Gorton Jeff Sessions
John Ashcroft Larry Craig Trent Lott
Jim Jeffords Conrad Burns Gordon Smith
Dan Coats Thad Cochran Bill Frist
Dirk Kempthorne Kit Bond Chuck Grassley
John Warner James Inhofe Paul Coverdell
Michael Enzi Spencer Abraham Mike DeWine
Debra Johnson, President , and Patty Smith, Executive Director of the NPND met with Senator Jeffords and Representative Goodling to convey the NPND IDEA Position Statement. They presented a critique of S216 and reported that the NPND Legislative Committee will have the critique of HR 5 this week. NPND will keep you posted.
The purpose of this important project is to produce practical materials, developed by
families for families, which will:
· Help families to form partnerships with their providers and to advocate for the health care needs of their child
· Prepare families to actively participate in health supervision and the promotion of healthy habits.
· Provide valuable information about child development and what to expect as a child matures to adolescence
· Share tips, hints, and stories based on the experiences of a variety of families
These family materials will be derived from Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, published in 1994 as a comprehensive resource to help health professionals, families, and communities more effectively promote the health and well-being of our nations children and adolescents.
As we develop these materials, we want to hear from you!! Wed love your input not only on how to make these materials beneficial, but on how to make them unique. Over the next few weeks, we will be including questions to solicit your ideas in shaping this fabulous resource. Please take a moment to answer the following questions, and then return this to NPND (Fax:703-836-1232; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for your help. 1. Describe your relationship to the children you care for.
Child Advocacy Professional
2. List three subjects regarding raising your children on which you would like information more readily available? (Either now, or topics on which you may have had difficulty finding sufficient information in the past)
3. Where would you like to have materials about raising healthy children more readily available to you:
Child care center