The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (H.R. 1350) is on the floor today.
We are supporting several amendments to IDEA in order to strengthen the language regarding flexibility for parents, notification on the side effects of psychotropic drugs, and the definition of disability.
Representative Tancredo has introduced an amendment, which seeks to protect parents and students form long-term dangers of psychotropic medication. His amendment would add language to procedural safeguards notice requiring schools to notify parents of long-term heath risks and possible long-term effects of early exposure to these medications.
The purpose of Representative Tancredo's second amendment is to reduce the risk of misidentification and over identification of children marked as disabled. The amendment would change the definition of a specific learning disability. If children have had trouble learning to read or has a discipline problem, they should not be labeled "disabled." The amendment would define disability as can be proved by medical conditions in order to address the issue of over identification.
Congressman Musgrave's amendment will allow school districts the option of offering the parents of a disabled child in private schools a certificate to be used for their child's specific special educational needs. The amendment would allow the local school district to give parents who have chosen to place their child in a private school to have the ability to direct their child's per-pupil IDEA funding (up to $1,400) toward the special education services that best meet the needs of their children. This gives local districts control over their money, and reduces the burden of the federal government on local schools.
Congressman DeMint's amendment gives flexibility to the states to use their money as the state and parents see fit to educate children with disabilities. This is NOT A VOUCHER. This amendment encourages states to establish innovative solutions by providing seed money to develop new programs that could better serve children with disabilities. It also ensures that states may choose to implement as much or as little flexibility as needed without federal restrictions, and allows states to use federal money for programs the state is already invested in.
Call YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS NOW!
Ask them to vote YES on Tancredo, Musgrave, DeMint Amendments to IDEA
The House Switchboard is 202-224-3121
You can find your Member's direct number at: http://www.house.gov/