As reported in last week's FF, the NPND is sponsoring telephone conference calls to gather input on Public Law 105-17, the IDEA Improvement Act of 1997. Over sixty leaders in the field have responded to this opportunity and are willing to give input as the Department of Education, Special Education Programs (OSEP) begins the process of preparing Reulations for the newly reauthorized law. Heather Hebdon (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 588-1741), Legislative Chair for the NPND Policy Committee will lead the calls with assistance from leaders from OSEP. It's not too late to join in; contact Heather today! The following is the schedule for the calls.
1) Wednesday, June 18 @ 1:00 EST: Review of Part A & Part D
2) Wednesday, June 25 @ 1:00 EST: Part B; Review of Assessments and IEP
3) Thursday, June 26 @ 1:00 EST: Part B; Review of Due Process and Mediation
4) Monday, June 30, 1997 @ 1:00 EST: Part B; Review of Discipline
5) Tuesday, July 1,1997 @ 1:00 EST: Review of Part C
Interwoven in the IEP and assessment will be the Private schools and Charter Schools. Interwoven in the due process section will be parent notice and records. In all sections we will be reviewing implementation and accountability. We want input on policy letters, current regs, or components of the report language or current language that is relevant to the new regulations.
After conferring with the House Document Office, we learned the final bill will not be ready until late next week. For purposes of our calls, HR 5 with House Report 105-95 are on the THOMAS web site (thomas.loc.gov). The bill follows the report language. Download or review the law by sections as appropriate for the various calls. Remember to check Definition sections. This copy is what was forwarded to the President for signature last week.
Call or e-mail NPND to find out how to register for the calls; space is limited. (email@example.com, or 703-684-6763).
A bill has been drafted by House Republican staff to rewrite the Perkins Act on vocational education. IIt was scheduled for mark-up on Thursday, June 12 in the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families. As drafted, the bill is a major step backwards in terms of program quality, equity, and parent and public participation. Following are highlights of the problems with the bill:
oThere is no system for ensuring that all school staff and parents get accurate, complete information by methods that will actually reach them, about the Act's requirements.
oKey provisions for ensuring that students with particular needs are able to successfully participate have been eliminated-such as non-discrimination and equal access to all elements of the program.
oThe State and local program are required only to describe how they will involve parents, with no details. Years of prior experience show that this doen't work.
oThere is no real system of accountability for results. Instead, it says that if the state fails to meet its own benchmarks for the three-year period, then the Secretary may reduce the federal grant by no moe than 10%.
oFor high schools in regular school districts, there is no provision for a school-level plan jointly developed with teachers, parents, and students to implennemt core program elements.
For more information, contact the Center for Law and Education at 202-986-3000, or HN1669@Handsnet.org
Parents who receive notification from the SSI office should file an appeal within 10 days.
For more information, contact Jonathan Stein of Community Legal Services at 215-981-3742.
On Wednesday, June 11, the House Education and the Workforce Committee was scheduled to consider legislation that would exempt millions of workers and their families from state health insurance and quality regulations. For more information on this topic, visit NPND's website: www.npnd.org, and go to the Legislative Updates page.