From: Justice For All Moderator <jfa@jfanow.org> Date: Thu Jul 26, 2001 12:30:38 AM US/Eastern To: justice@jfanow.org
Subject: ACTION ALERT!! IDEA Discipline Amendments

Below please find a message from Jamie Ruppmann of TASH regarding IDEA "Discipline" Amendments that recently made it into both the Senate and House versions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The bill must now be finalized in a conference between the two chambers, where conferees must agree on an identical version of the bill. In addition to writing your Members of Congress, contact the White House and urge President Bush to weigh in with Congress in support of children with disabilities and their right to education.

You can write President Bush by addressing a letter to the White House; 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20500. You can call the White House comment line at 202- 456-1414 (202-456-6213 tty).

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act recently passed by the House and Senate (H.R.1 and S.1) contains amendments that will put children and youth with disabilities in jeopardy.

Specifically, both versions of the Bill contain what is called "discipline" language, but in reality are provisions that allow school districts to long term suspend or expel students with disabilities from public school without providing any services at all. If these amendments are agreed to, they will overturn the Zero Reject (all means all) provision that has been the cornerstone of the Individuals with Disabilities education act for over twenty-five years.

Currently, the Bill is "in conference". This means that Senators and Representatives appointed by their respective leaders have begun a series of meetings to discuss differences in the House and Senate versions and to decide what to do about those differences.

It is critically important that advocates for children generate thousands of letters to their Representatives and Senators from now until the Congress completes work on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (early September).

WHO: The names of your Congressmen can be found on the net under www.thomas.loc/gov or by calling the local library. .

THE MESSAGE is quite simple:

Dear (your Senator or Representative)

Please act to remove the IDEA discipline amendments from H.R. 1, during the conference on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The issue of discipline for students with disabilities should be considered when IDEA is reauthorized in 2002. Thank you,

YOUR NAME,

ADDRESS, RELATIONSHIP, (self-advocate, family or friend of a person with a disability, educator or professional concerned with the education of people with disabilities).

SEND TO:

The Honorable (full name of Senator) or

The Honorable (full name of Representative)

Rm.#_(name of) Senate of Building

or

Rm #_ (name of ) House Office Building

United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington D.C. 20515


It is suggested that we not use email. Snail mail and FAX have a great deal more impact!
Staff to the Senators and Representatives WILL continue to work on the Bill during the August recess -- there will be no "time out" on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Conference!

Write today! Please pass this along to you friends and networks! Feel free to email or call me if you have questions or need information:
Jamie Ruppmann
TASH Governmental Relations
(410) 828-8274 x104
Jruppmann@tash.org
TASHGovRel@mindspring.com