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Article of Interest - IDEA Reauthorization

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Bridges4Kids LogoIDEA Weekly Update: A Call To Arms
Our Children Left Behind, February 1, 2004

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This week, OCLB has put out a new call to arms – a call to exercise our constitutional right to vote.  In our first Home page article of the week, “Show And Go Or Ride And Hide – We Decide,” we put the hard truth out there for all of us to see.  The fact is, as Dr. Phil likes to say, we teach people how to treat us.  And the special education parent community, through our collective inaction, has been teaching Congress to treat us as if we don’t matter.  There are 6.5 million children receiving IDEA services – each of those children has parents, guardians, family members, and friends who care about them. That could be a formidable voting bloc, if we were united and vocal, and if we voted.  But, unfortunately, too many in the disability community have historically abdicated their civic responsibility to vote.  That needs to change, and it needs to change now!

 

To help it change, we have prepared the “OCLB Voter’s Primary Primer,” a comprehensive article that explains the legislative processes that lead up to the general election.  Many people are unfamiliar with their state’s primary or caucus procedures. This article, posted on our Home page, will help get you started on the road to making your voice heard and your vote count!

 

Of course, along with voting, it is still critical that we continue to contact our Senators and send them a clear message to Just Vote No to S.1248.  To help you make your voice heard loud and clear, our Home page features a parent toolkit this week!  In “The ‘Write’ Thing,” we have a template letter prepared that you can cut and paste, personalize a bit, and send to your Senators.  Along with the template letter, take a look at “Defending The ‘Write’ Thing” to find support for each of the assertions in that letter (in an easy to follow Q&A format).  If you want more technical details, read “What Should I Say Or Write To My Senators?”  This piece contains detailed updated parent talking points as to why S.1248 is a bad IDEA.

 

On our Breaking News page, we have an update and talking points prepared by the National Coalition of Parent Centers.  We also have two updates as to the expected legislative calendar, including the expected Senate debate on IDEA (tentatively scheduled for the week of March 22, 2004).  Finally, we have an article by LRP publications that resulted from their interview with us as to why parents are opposing S.1248.

 

A visitor with a great deal of political experience has written to us, urging us to continue our clear message of Just Vote No to S.1248.  We have posted her thoughts on The Grapevine so that we can all benefit from her experience and knowledge base.  Another visitor has invited us all to share our thoughts on IDEA reauthorization with the members of Child Magazine’s special needs message board.  OCLB has posted a message on IDEA – feel free to do so yourselves also (information on how to do so is on The Grapevine).  The more people we reach, the better!  Finally, on The Grapevine, we have an article about Clay Aiken and his dedication to children with disabilities.

 

On the Message Board this week, a visitor has expressed her thoughts concerning the school lobbies’ complaints of overwhelming paperwork.  She feels that if the schools were doing their jobs properly and our children were learning appropriately, we would not need as much paperwork. But since “school expertise” is, in her opinion, largely a myth, the process-oriented paperwork under IDEA is very much needed.

 

Well, you’re armed and dangerous now – so get out there and make a difference!  We’re with you all the way!

 

Sandy Alperstein, today’s parentvolunteer@ourchildrenleftbehind.com

 

Our Children Left Behind [OCLB] was created and is owned/operated by parent volunteers (Sandy Alperstein, Tricia & Calvin Luker, Shari Krishnan, and Debi Lewis).  Permission to forward, copy, and/or post this article is granted provided that it is attributed to the author(s) and www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com.  For more about OCLB or to share information, please contact parentvolunteer@ourchildrenleftbehind.com.

     

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