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Legislative Alert: Legislation Introduced to Fully Fund IDEA

Date: February 2, 2006

Action Requested: NASP encourages you to contact your Congressional Senators and Representatives to request support for legislation recently introduced to fully fund IDEA.

Legislation supporting the full funding of IDEA has been introduced by Representative Bass (HR 3145) and Senator Hagel (S 2185).  These bills have bi-partisan support, and to date, more than 22 co-sponsors have signed on to the Senate bill and 43 to the House bill. Both of these bills mandate incremental spending increases over the next six years in order to reach the 40% full-funding level authorized by Congress in the passage of IDEA (2004). These bills present a feasible plan by which Congress can meet this commitment.

Passage of this bill is critical! This is especially true given the recent decrease in federal funding for IDEA. In the early hours of December 22, 2005, Congress did not have adequate support for the Labor HHS Education funding bill and in order to win passage and avoid having to pass a continuing resolution for the budget (and so that they could recess for the Christmas holiday), they attached this bill to the Defense Appropriations Bill (HR 2863). This move resulted in a 1% across the board cut (required in the Defense bill) to all Department of Education programs, including IDEA. The result was that overall funding for IDEA decreased from 18.6% to 17.8%, not including the effects of inflation.

NASP asks you to join us in advocating for the full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act! Please participate in the "1-Minute Solution" detailed below.

  1. 1.      Send a letter to your local congressman/woman through the NASP Advocacy Action Center. Click on the following link and you will be guided through a simple 1-minute process for sending an e-mail to your elected official. You only need your name and address to submit this correspondence. Click on the address here or type it in if your link fails. http://capwiz.com/naspweb/home  Go to the ACTION ALERT box and click on "Support the full funding of IDEA."  OR
  1. 2.      If you know the name of your Congressional Senators or Representative, you can call them by phone: Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Once you are connected with your elected official, you will likely get a voicemail system where you should say, "Hi, my name is (your name) from (your city and state). I am calling to ask you to support HR 3145 (if you are talking to a Representative) or S 2185 (if you are talking to a Senator). This bill presents a six-year plan for phasing in the full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In the passage of IDEA in 2004, Congress authorized that the federal share for IDEA be at the 40% level. It is time that Congress takes steps to fulfill this commitment.   Thanks for your support of this important legislation for families and children. If you need to reach me for any reason, you can contact me at (your phone number) or (your e-mail address)."
  1. 3.      Forward this e-mail to any school psychologist friends or colleagues that you think might be interested in participating in this effort. They do not have to be NASP members to participate.

Thank you for your advocacy efforts! If you have any questions or comments about this alert, please feel free to contact NASP Public Policy Director, Stacy Skalski, at sskalski@naspweb.org or 301-657-0270.

"I never worry about action, but only inaction."

--Winston Churchill