Education Updates from AUCD (restraint/seclusion and NCLB reauthorization)
- From the March 1, 2010 edition of the AUCD Legislative News in Brief - two education updates (restraints & seclusion and reauthorization of NCLB with focus on students with disabilities):
Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee announced their plans to begin a bipartisan reform of the nation’s primary federal education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind, last week. The committee held its first hearing on ESEA reauthorization Wednesday, focusing on HR 4330, the “All Students Achieving through Reform Act of 2009.” The bill would create a new competitive grant program to expand and replicate successful charter schools to serve additional students, with a priority for low-income students, students in schools with low graduation rates and students in schools in need of improvement. There was a great deal of discussion about students with disabilities during the hearing. Thomas Hehir, Ed. D., Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former director of Office of Special Education Programs at ED, testified about how charter schools serve special populations, including children with disabilities. He provided the results of his research, which show significant under-enrollment of children with disabilities in charter schools in several large cities. He called for federal guidance on serving special populations, funding for research on best practices in charter schools and a national study to acquire comprehensive data on the ways charter schools serve special populations. His testimony is available online. Eileen Ahearn, Director of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, testified about special education in charter schools and their need for technical assistance in providing special education services to students with disabilities. Committee leaders invited all stakeholders to submit their input by email at eseacomments@... by March 26.
Restraint and Seclusion
Legislation to reduce the use of restraints and seclusion in schools is moving quickly in the House. The full House of Representatives may consider the “Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act” (HR 4247) as soon as this Wednesday. The Committee on Education and Labor approved the bill on a bipartisan vote of 34-10 on January 28 (the committee report is now available). The Senate companion bill (S. 2860) has not yet been considered in committee. AUCD emailed an alert on Feb. 26 urging network members to educate members of Congress and to ask their Senators to co-sponsor the bill.
The Department of Education has released its comprehensive summary of restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, policies and guidance from each state and territory. The summary shows that policies vary widely from state to state, and while some have made progress, many have no policy at all on the subject.Sandy, Illinois (alpy2@...)
Volunteer Co-Webmaster, Our Children Left Behind (http://www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com) (IDEA & NCLB reauthorization)