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826IDEA Alert: Beware of Signing Form Letter endorsed by Keep Kids Learni

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  • SpecialEd_Watchdog@webtv.net
    Jun 1, 2003
      URGENT ALERT! (courtesy of Ronald Cloud and Debby Smith)

      The interent service provider JUNO and perhaps others have a banner
      being sent promoting an email campaign related to HR 1350.

      It reads:

      "Tell Congress to keep kids learning. Give your lawmakers a better IDEA
      for helping kids learn.

      Over 40% of children struggle in school. Outdated laws force kids to
      fail one or more years of school before getting extra help. In one
      click, you can help kids with learning problems get the early help they
      need to succeed. As Congress updates the law known as IDEA, tell
      lawmakers early identification and intervention are the best way to
      solve learning problems and keep kids learning.

      Give kids and Congress a better IDEA. Click now to email Washington
      (FREE). view letter

      The views expressed in this email are those of KeepKidsLearning.org and
      do not imply endorsement by Juno Online Services."

      It is being sponsored by KeepKids Learning which is under the umbrella
      of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD).

      As parents, we want ALL children to learn and get the ehlp they eed but
      should their education be funded by a law for students WITH
      disabilities?

      As Ronald Cloud says:
      "It is inappropriate to minimize services for and write off students
      with more profound and significant disabilities in order to find
      remediation for HIGHER FUNCTIONING students. The Federal Government is
      empowered to fund such programs by other means."

      This is all part of the effort to align IDEA with the No Child Left
      Behind Act. There is one simple reason. IDEA is funded and NCLB is
      not. Amenders have been offered to fund NCLB and were resoundly
      rejected by Republicans during the HR 1350 mark-ups.

      Ideology without money will take 15% of funding away from students who
      have disabilities and are already eligible for special education.
      Special education is already sorely funded as parents in every district
      in the nation can attest to based upon the resistance they meet when
      advocating for their children.

      So only sign this form letter if:

      - you endorse an immediate cash flow reduction to eligible students and
      feel "struggling students" deserve a piece of the pie reserved by IDEA,
      a law for students with disabilities not students who aren't doing so
      well
      - you think children with disabilities deserve a 15% cut from funding
      and general education funds should be used for "struggling learners" in
      the general education system
      - you think No Child Left Behind's strict mandates don't require funding
      and school systems will just find a way to educate all children

      Below is a list of Keep Kids Learning sponsors:

      National Association of School Psychologist
      International Dyslexia Association
      CHADD
      The International Reading Association
      Schwab Learning
      The Council for Learning Disabilities
      The National Association for the Education of African American Children
      with Learning Disabilities
      Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities
      The Haan Foundation for Children
      Get Ready to Read!

      You can visit the Keep Kids Learning website at:
      http://www.keepkidslearning.org
      and the National Council for Learning Disabilities at:
      www.ld.org/advocacy/IDEAwatch.cfm

      An except from the letter:

      "I'm writing to ask for your support in working to improve the
      Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, currently undergoing
      reauthorization in Congress.

      Under current IDEA law and regulations, students who struggle with
      learning, particularly reading, are required tofail for one or more
      years before they are evaluated and given specialized services. This
      antiquated "wait-to-fail" model stands in the way of students getting
      quick help that can prevent further failure and provide a path to
      acdemic success. This process gets help to struggling students to late,
      make remidation more difficult and less effective."

      Make no mistake. This letter endorses the 15% funding of prereferral
      services. In a time where Congress still argues about mandatory vs.
      discretionary funding, can we afford to give away what funds we have
      available to students identified with disabilities?

      Organizations should be advocating for funding of No Child Left Behind
      or seeking funds from General Education for their agenda. IDEA is for
      the student with a disability.

      Please be wary of signing letters from Cap Wiz or other form letters
      before reading it completely...

      All the best,

      Debbie Brown


      SPARC - Special Parent Assistance & Resource Center - a NJ program for
      parents dealing with challenges posed by all disabilities offering
      support, education, advocacy and information & referral.
      http://www.geocities.com/sparcofucp

      Special Ed Watchdog Nation - SEWN - Special Ed advocacy info and
      resources
      http://community.webtv.net/SpecialEd_Watchdog/SpecialEdWatchdog

      Special Ed Webmasters and Listowners - an egroup
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SpedWebmasterListowners