Special Education

One Organization’s Take on Reauthorizing IDEA

By Christina A. Samuels — June 28, 2010 1 min read
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No one ever asks me, “Christina, when do you think the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act will be reauthorized, and how closely do you think the special education law will be tied to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?”

But I wish someone would. First, I could point them to my colleagues over at Politics K-12, who have written recently about the timing of the ESEA (also known as “No Child Left Behind”) reauthorization. Completing ESEA this year looks like a long shot, and IDEA, which was last reauthorized in 2004, is too closely bound to ESEA to be approved on its own.

And then I could show them the glossy document (pdf) created by the Council for Exceptional Children, which outlines what that organization would like to see in the reauthorization of both laws.

CEC would like to see the law focus on good professional development, the inclusion of students with disabilities in state assessments, and the inclusion of the principle of response to intervention in ESEA, the main federal education law (right now, references to RTI only appears in the IDEA.)

And, no surprise, the CEC also wants the feds fork over more cash for special education, a continuing complaint among those in the field. Does anyone else have thoughts of that they’d like to see in these education laws? (Maybe a ban on restraint and seclusion?)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.