Your National Voice for Special Education Advocacy
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY
Say "NO" to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5)
The House of Representatives will be voting this week on the reauthorization of the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), which is the Republican version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Both Democrats and Republicans on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce introduced separate bills along partisan lines.
While we acknowledge that the law must be updated,COPAA believes the core provisions of H.R. 5 would be extremely detrimental to students with disabilities because there are no requirements to assure that ALL students will be held to the same high standards, including performance targets in reading and math and graduation goals. Among other concerns, the bill includes a provision that allows an unlimited number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities scores to be counted as proficient on the alternate assessment on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). There is no data or current practice in any state that would support this lifting of the current cap [at 1% of all students]. This is discrimination pure and simple. It will literally place thousands of students with disabilities at-risk for never having access to the general curriculum and a regular high school diploma.
H.R. 5 also completely ignores the need to include the Keeping All Students Safe Act that would assure a limit is placed on the use of restraints and seclusion in schools. H.R. 5 ignores that school leaders need a better system of training and support so personnel will stop using the abusive and subversive techniques which are disproportionately used on students with disabilities.
Please communicate either by email or telephone to legislative staff handling the ESEA reauthorization for your Representatives to vote `NO' to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), which will be on the House floor on Thursday.
You may contact your Congressional offices by calling the main House of Representatives line at (202) 224-3121 or you can find an email address for your representative's office by clicking HERE. Once you have confirmed the name of the legislative staffer handling education policy and the ESEA reauthorization, you may either speak with them by phone, and/or send an email to them. The next page contains draft language for you to incorporate into your email.
DRAFT EMAIL TO SEND TO STAFF HANDLING EDUCATION AND ESEA REAUTHORIZATION:
My name is (insert your name)_______ from _________ (insert home town) _________. As an advocate for the rights of citizens with significant disabilities, I am writing to you today to ask you to vote `no' on the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). We need to protect the civil rights and secure excellence in education for all children, including the 6.5 million children with disabilities in America who want to graduate, get jobs, and participate fully in their chosen community. I am concerned with the following issues in the bill (note main concerns above).
Please communicate these concerns by the end of the day, Wednesday, July 17th. The House will vote on ESEA on Thursday (scheduled). Thank you in advance for your time and immediate attention to this issue.