Monday, February 27, 2017

The assault on public education and services for special needs kids has begun.

House Resolution 610 makes some substantial changes. It will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17, and starts the defunding process of public schools. In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law and provides equal opportunity in education.

ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.

The bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.

The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting SN kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.

Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities:

-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently under-performing subgroups.

-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).

Please call Virginia Fox, the Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and ask her to vote NO on House Resolution 610 (HR 610). For people in Arizona, contact Rep Raul M. Grijalva.

For the rest of you, find out if your rep is on the committee here: 

Here's my husband Dan's e-mail: 

Dear Rep Grijalva,

I just became aware of HR 610, which was introduced in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. As I'm sure you are aware, this ill-conceived bill will hurt many children - especially from households with limited means. I implore you to help ensure this bill doesn't get passed out of committee. Thank you.
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