826IDEA Alert: Beware of Signing Form Letter endorsed by Keep Kids Learni
- Jun 1, 2003URGENT 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.
"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 Outdated laws force kids to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
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
- 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
The International Reading Association
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:
and the National Council for Learning Disabilities at:
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,
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.
Special Ed Watchdog Nation - SEWN - Special Ed advocacy info and
Special Ed Webmasters and Listowners - an egroup