Fulfill the Promise: IDEA Funding for Our Students; Press Conference 3pm // News // March 23rd, 2021

Media Advisory 

March 23, 2021                                      Contact: Michelle Michalak                                                                                                                         michalakm@madisonteachers.org

Fight to Fulfill the Promise: IDEA Funding for our Students

WHAT:        A national coalition will file a Class Petition for Guidance with the Department of Education to demand federal guidance by June 21, as the first step to begin finally following through on promises made to students with disabilities, made under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and also to ensure that the needs of students who are only eligible for supports and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, along with children who have been traumatized during the pandemic, are not overlooked.

  1. That all children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education with support and services designed to meet their unique needs.
  2. That the federal government covers 40% of the additional cost required to provide those necessary services under the IDEA.
  3. That the federal government monitors and enforces civil rights laws protecting students with disabilities and students of color, including to ensure that states and districts provide them the requisite mental and behavioral health supports and services that these students need to succeed in school.

The pandemic has brought into sharp relief the ways in which students of color with disabilities have been profoundly and disproportionately negatively impacted by the decades’ long failure of the federal government to fulfill its promises. Widespread trauma from the mass infection and death in our hardest-hit communities of color have deepened the divide and compounds the need for additional support for mental and behavioral health for many students. 

WHEN:    Tuesday, March 23 

TIME:     3:00 PM

WHERE:   ** Register here ***After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the press conference. 

WHO: Speakers will include petitioners and declarants from four states and national disability rights and advocacy organizations, parents and educators from Texas, California, Wisconsin and Massachusetts; Candace Cortiella, Director, The Advocacy Institute; and Lisa Demidovich, lead attorney on the petition. In addition, Dan Losen, Director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies, an initiative of the Civil Rights Project, UCLA, will speak to his organization’s report “Disabling Inequity: The Urgent Need for Race-Conscious Resources and Remedies,” which will be submitted along with the Class Administrative Petition on Tuesday. Diane Smith, Senior Staff Attorney with the National Disability Rights Network will also speak on the Disabling Inequity report. 

MEDIA: Key press materials, including the petition, summaries and fact sheets, will be provided during the press conference. The program will include both English and Spanish speakers. The program will include a media Q and A.

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