JUNE 5, 1998 ...................................................................................................................NUMBER 95
TOPICS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE:
IDEA AMENDMENT DEBATED IN THE HOUSE
The House Education and Workforce Committee debated H.R. 3254 late Thursday afternoon. The Bill amends IDEA by allowing states to remove their legal obligation to serve incarcerated IDEA eligible students between the ages of 18 and 21 by returning Federal funds allocated for those students. Chairman Riggs offered his Bill and defended California's need to deny services to incarcerated youth.
Representatives Martinez and Kildee led the battle to oppose this amendment to IDEA. Rep. Martinez talked about the "IDEA eligible, incarcerated youth" as needing the services more than any other prisoners. Rep. Kildee talked about IDEA as the "premier legislation" and that California chooses to nullify the law. Rep. Owens attacked the Majority Party's values and insensitivity to the most vulnerable young people. Rep. Scott was eloquent in his defense of IDEA and Rep. Kucinich from Ohio described the Bill as "optimistic" because it appears as though incarcerated youth who are IDEA eligible will be "cured at age 18."
Secretary of Education Riley wrote a letter to Chairman Goodling dated June 4, 1998, stating, "this bill would undermine the Department of Education's ability to enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and could deprive some youth of their right to a free, appropriate, public education. I would recommend that the President veto the legislation if it were to reach him." (Text on website) The Committee was unable to conclude the vote. After considerable wrangling, the vote was left open through a process that allows members to record their vote at a later time. Because of the open vote, we do not have the final results, but assume that the Bill will pass out of Committee and be forwarded to the House of Representatives. The final results will be put up on the NPND website and included in next week's issue of the Friday Fax.
Secretary Riley's Letter
SURVEY SAYS....TEACHERS WANT PARENTS ACTIVE IN EDUCATION
A new study conducted by Louis Harris and Associates describes the benefits of parental involvement in schools. It found that teachers increasingly view parent participation in both schools and homes as necessary to productive learning. "The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher 1998" is free from MetLife Survey, PO Box 807, Madison Square Station, New York, NY 10159-0807 (212) 578-4072; http://www.metlife.org for a brief summary of major findings.
SOCIAL SECURITY WORK INCENTIVE REFORM
On June 4th, the House passed H.R. 3433-Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998. It is a companion bill to S.1858-Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1998 (WIIA). Why have H.R. 3433? Recent studies demonstrate that there are five principle barriers to the employment of individuals with significant disabilities who are SSDI or SSI beneficiaries:
H.R. 3433 promotes work by addressing multiple barriers. Specifically:
The combined S. 1858/H.R. 3433 bill is now the most substantial legislation on removing barriers to employment, work incentive reform and the Social Security Disability Programs in many years. Call...Write...Fax...E-mail members of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Tell them to support the Bill and encourage Senators to be Co-Sponsors of the Bill. Access the NPND website for the Committee list, along with contact information.
Labor and Human Resources Committee
NEW CHILDREN'S ISSUES ARTICLES ON THE NPND WEBSITE
CHILD CARE ARTICLES:
CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE ARTICLES: