APRIL 3, 1998 ............................................................................................................................................ NUMBER 86
TOPICS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE:
ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT
Parents, advocates, educators, service providers, family members, and friends, we need your help NOW. Our childrens education is at stake. ACT ACT ACT!!!! This past week has been a series of unsettling revelations, proposed amendments, discussions of changing the statute, talk against the regs, and you name it. The bottom line is:
THERE IS TROUBLE!!! AND WE NEED TO FIGHT!!!!
There have been a number of good meetings which could potentially be in our favor.
On Monday, NPND leaders and CCD leaders met with Secretary Riley and his staff. He voiced his commitment to protect students and indicated that he does not want the statute touched.
On Tuesday, NPND and CCD leaders met with Senator Jeffords. Again, we strongly voiced our concerns. Sen. Jeffords stated that he and Chairman Goodling intend to hold a hearing on the IDEA Regulations this summer. This is good, but is it enough to ensure that the amendments that are being discussed dont pass?
Status of HR 2646 (Coverdell Bill) Last Friday evening, the Senate agreed by Unanimous Consent (UC) to move the bill forward for a vote with a package of amendments. When they return, the Senate will vote on a series of education-related amendments, including amendments to weaken or repeal IDEA. Sen. Gregg (NH) has agreed to sponsor the IDEA Flexibility Amendment, which is believed to be a revised version of the Gorton Amendment. That amendment would have effectively repealed IDEA. Specifically, this amendment would permit state and local education agencies to establish their own discipline policies.
Disability advocates know that IDEA was first enacted because state and local education agencies did in fact have such authority, and have used it to exclude or under-educate hundreds of thousands of students with disabilities simply because they had disabilities.
(A PLEDGE form is available on the NPND website, or by calling (202) 434-8686 and requesting a PLEDGE form be mailed/faxed to you). Based on our meeting with Sec Riley, leaders decided to gather the best stories and pictures of successful collaborations between educators and students and families.
LINKING POLICY & PRACTICE AUDIENCES WITH THE 1997 AMENDMENTS OF IDEA
In response to a RFP from OSEP, parents, families, advocates and disability advocacy organizations have formed a partnership to mobilize efforts to contribute to the successful implementation of the IDEA Amendments of 1997. NPND is part of this planning partnership.
The RFP seeks to support multiple strategies at the local, state and national levels that will result in improved services and results for children with disabilities.
NEEDS ASSESSMENT The purpose of the Needs Assessment is to learn from members and constituents what their needs are for information, training and technical assistance to improve the possibility of achieving added value outcomes for children and infants with disabilities as intended by the 1997 Amendments to IDEA.
If you are interested in being part of this project and would like to assist with the compilation of this information, then we need you to fill out a Needs Assessment form.
The Needs Assessment forms may be obtained by downloading it from the NPND website, or by calling (202) 434-8686 and requesting a form be mailed/faxed to you (be sure to specify which form).
The forms must be filled out and returned no later than Friday, April 10.
You may either fax it to (202) 638-7299 or mail it to the NPND offices c/o Patricia McGill Smith, 1200 G Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20005
LATE BREAKING NEWS
Chairmans Jeffords and Goodling are holding a joint hearing to allow stakeholders to share their opinions on the proposed IDEA regulations on Wednesday, April 22 at 10:30 AM in 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Stay tuned to next weeks Friday Fax for more details and/or access the NPND website.