Thank you for making your voice heard last week! Over 230 of you reached out to your Senators/Representatives through our Action Alert! Thanks to your action, LDA has learned that the proposal to allow Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to have an absolute waiver authority over IDEA has been taken off the table!
Despite this progress, the educational rights of our children are still in jeopardy. Last week, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate ‒ the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Act includes a provision directing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to report back to Congress within 30 days on the waivers needed under the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and grants the Secretary broad waiver authority over K-12 federal education laws.
Although the final version of this bill is in flux, we ask you to join us TODAY in opposing this provision.
While the COVID-19 outbreak has placed unprecedented strains on schools, we cannot allow schools and districts to abdicate their federal responsibilities to students or broaden the Secretary’s authority to waive civil rights protections. We must ensure that children with disabilities and all children receive the services and support they need.
At LDA, we are already hearing about the impact of school closures on students with disabilities. We are aware that some districts are choosing to provide nothing rather than find a way to ensure access for students with learning and other disabilities. While we recognize that public schools need flexibility in this unprecedented time, waiving the educational and civil rights of students with disabilities is not the answer!
We must help schools and families to work together during this challenging time to find and implement solutions that allow all children to receive the education and support they need ‒ without weakening or undoing their civil and educational rights.