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Last Updated: 02/23/2018

 Article of Interest - IDEA Reauthorization

Whose IDEA Is It, Anyway? Honor Roll of Organizations

Calvin and Tricia Luker, May 2003

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Yesterday we wrote about the IDEA National Call to Action Day on April 29, 2003. Thousands of IDEA stakeholders – students, parents, family members, friends and advocates -- called their Congress members encouraging them to reject the Improving Education Results for Children with Disabilities Act, H.R. 1350, because it was bad for all students. On April 30th we learned that Congress had prepared for our Call to Action. Congressman John Boehner, Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Education Reform Committee Chair Mike Castle posted a web site alert on their committee web site to Members of Congress [paid for with our tax dollars] about OUR call-in, warning that “some lobbying organizations are spreading false and misleading information about the bill,” and that our calls would be loaded with “incorrect or incomplete information” about H.R. 1350.

Today, May 20, 2003 we name and honor 69 national organizations that helped organize or participated in the April 29th call-in, speaking for students and parents, and telling our stories along with us. These are the organizations Congressmen Boehner and Castle referred to as the lobbyists “spreading false and misleading information.” We students, parents and family members who called in with our IDEA stories and experiences likely were the ones who, through our stories, provided the “incorrect or incomplete information” Boehner and Castle mentioned.

The 69 national organizations who publicly are OPPOSING H.R. 1350, and who are standing up for and with us to save IDEA as we know it are:

National PTA – Children’s Defense Fund – National Association of Education of Young Children – American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – American Academy of Pediatrics – American Association on Mental Retardation – American Association of University Affiliated Programs – American Council of the Blind – American Counseling Association – American Music Therapy Association – American Occupational Therapy Association – American Physical Therapy Association – American Society for Deaf Children – American Speech-Language-Hearing Association – The Arc of the United States – Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs – Association of University Centers on Disabilities – Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law – Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – Council for Exceptional Children – Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates – Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund – Disability Service Providers of America – Easter Seals – Epilepsy Foundation – Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health – Higher Education Consortium for Special Education – Learning Disabilities Association of America – National Alliance of Pupil Service Organization – National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils – National Association of Mental Illness – National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems – National Association of School Psychologists – National Association of Social Workers – National Committee of Parents Organized to Protect IDEA – National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities – National Down Syndrome Congress – National Down Syndrome Society – National Mental Health Association – Research Institute for Independent Living – School Social Work Association of America – TASH – Teacher Education Division/Council for Exceptional Children – The International Dyslexia Association – Tourette Syndrome Association – UCP.

Really, whose IDEA is H.R. 1350 anyway? We have seen a deliberate and public effort to discredit the voices and opinions of the individuals (US) and organizations (our Honor Roll) who have the largest stake in the educations and lives of 6.6 million children who receive special education services through and because of IDEA. IDEA belongs to us and our children, and not to Congress. We need to TAKE OUR FACES TO OUR SENATORS’ PLACES and tell them that ourselves. It’s clear our senators won’t get the truth from a Congressional web site.

Tricia and Calvin Luker  


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