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Here’s How You Can Help Kids Like Mine

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March 15, 2010 by Marj Hatzell

I’m often asked how people can help me and I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I wish there was something I could do!”

Well, here’s your chance.

There’s this law, see, called IDEA.  It’s the INDIVIDUAL WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT.  It’s the Federal Law that guarantees a FREE and APPROPRIATE public education for all individuals with disabilities. There are many facets to this law (and quite a bit of history), so without going into massive explanation, allow me to direct you HERE .

See, this law has been partially funded (at best) and underfunded (at worst).  We need your help. In order for kids like mine to get the QUALITY and QUANTITY of education they NEED and DESERVE (in other words, at least the same funding and at least the same quality programming as their typical peers, not stuck in some sh*t hole for a school).  Like, a decent building. Decent services. Decent materials.  Decent teachers.

It all comes down to funding.

Want to help?  Contact your Senators and Representatives. Ask them, beg them to pass this and support it.  Write them an e-mail, it takes all of two minutes. If you don’t know what to write, Try something like this:

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.
Your name
………… ……… …..
County, [State]

If you don’t have a child with a disability, simply write “friend of” or “neighbor of” or “family member of” etc, etc.  You know.  Anything.

For a list of your senators, click HERE.

For a list of your representatives, click HERE.

I know there are many, many worthy causes out there.  Babies, health care, economy, you name it.  But parents of kids like mine have to work twice as hard to get school districts to provide the MINIMUM of education, while they are busy resodding their football fields and building fancy, state-of-the-art technology wings to lure folks into their school districts.  Not that those things are nice to have, but wouldn’t you sleep better at night knowing you’ve perhaps contributed to helping Bugaboo learn to talk someday?  Or learn to read?  Or perhaps STOP JUMPING OUT OF THE CAR WHILE IT IS MOVING?  I thought so.

So. Help. Please.

Thank you.

One thought on “Here’s How You Can Help Kids Like Mine

  1. Amanda says:

    Yes! Write! Getting an education for our kids shouldn’t be like asking for a principals left nad. It’s hard for all kids on the spectrum not matter where they happen to fall.

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