If you had a chance to listen to me and Jen (and the inimitable Sarah Talbot) on KQED's Forum yesterday, you may have heard me make a plug for (and have temporary stage fright amnesia regarding the decoded acronym for) supporting IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act -- the federal government's only-partially funded commitment to supplement the cost of special education for every child in this country who needs it.
Here's how you can take action and help all children in the United States who need special education -- whether you have a kid in special ed or not. I'm in California, so I have included contact information for my two senators; you should email your own senators.
I'll write more on yesterday's My Baby Rides the Short Bus events surreality later -- including why I burst into tears and couldn't do my reading, not at first. But for now, please consider writing your to your senators about IDEA, as I already have. It's easy. You can even use a form (Senators and Representative), if you'd prefer.
Find the Email of your Senator:
Email (CA) :
Email (CA) :
Suggested email :
Re : Full Funding IDEA Part B ( S 1652 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:SN01652: )
Dear Senator ........... :
As your constituent and a Parent of a [ age ] year old Special Education Student, I urge you to do everything within your power to support Full Funding IDEA Part B ( S 1652 ).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reaches every public school. Approximately 12 percent of public school students receive assistance through special education. These children deserve special attention and additional resources.
35 years ago, when IDEA was passed (1975) the law included a commitment to pay 40 percent of the average per-student cost for every special education student. That commitment has never been met.
School districts are being forced to redirect more and more dollars from their general education budget to cover the federal shortfall, which hurts all students — those in general education and those in special education. Since 1975, the unfunded federal portion has cost local schools and taxpayers more than $300 billion.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your support.
............ ......... .....