[NFBC-Info] Fwd: [Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert 3/19/2020

Tiffany Manosh tmanosh at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 22:10:20 UTC 2020

Hello All,

Please read the below message from Stephanie regarding urgent assistance.
Please call or email Senator Feinstien & Senator Harris and urge them not
to support the below bill that Stephanie has outlined for us.

Thank you,
Tiffany Manosh
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Flynt, Stephanie via NFBNet-Members-List <
nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
Date: Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 1:41 PM
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert 3/19/2020
To: nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>

My Federation Brothers and Sisters:

It has come to our attention that IDEA Rights May Be Waived by Congress! As
part of the Senate’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Chairman Lamar
Alexander (R-TN) has proposed to include a provision in the pending
stimulus bill that would give the Secretary of Education authority to
approve state waiver requests for any statutory and/or regulatory
requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for
one year and extensions may also apply. The stimulus package is expected to
drop as early as this weekend. This provision would be detrimental for
children with disabilities. Covered entities such as Child Find, a free
appropriate public education (FAPE), Individualized Education Program
(IEP), all procedural safeguards, re-evaluations, related services and
accommodations and more are at great risk.
We cannot allow this provision to pass.

Take Action NOW!

Currently offices are swamped with phone calls, so it may be better to
email your two senators and urge them to oppose the Alexander IDEA Waiver

When you call or email, you might say something like the following:

"Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your senator]. I
live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your senator] to oppose
Senator Lamar Alexander’s provision to waive all IDEA requirements. While
the COVID-19 outbreak has placed a tremendous and unprecedented strain on
schools and districts, it is imperative that we work together to find
solutions that allow children to receive equal access to an education and
the services that support them without undoing all of their civil and
educational rights. I am writing as a concerned (parent, teacher, blind
person, etc.) to urge you to reject any provision that would provide waiver
authority to the Secretary of Education regarding the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Over seven million children rely on IDEA
to receive special education supports and services. I hope you will help
schools by providing states with additional funding that can be used to
provide teachers, school leaders, and families with the tools they need to
connect to teach and support students. Please support the students with
disabilities and their families that rely upon the IDEA to have equal
access to education.

(Your Name)”

Please note that due to the rapidly evolving legislation concerning the
response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves needing to focus on
multiple issues simultaneously. Therefore, this legislative alert is in
addition to yesterday’s alert on the ATAA. Please be sure to speak with or
write to your senators and representative on both of these critical

You can contact your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking
for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you email your
senators, please copy Stephanie Flynt at sflynt at nfb.org. Your calls and
emails do make a difference.

It is best to call or email the relevant education staffer in your member
of Congress's office. If you need the name and email of the appropriate
staff person for any Senate  office, please email Jesa Medders at
jmedders at nfb.org.

Federationally Yours,

Stephanie Flynt
Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind

P (410) 659-9314, Extension 2210
E: sflynt at nfb.org


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