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The process of determining funding for FY 2020 in getting underway. LDA has joined with a long list of partners and other organizations to ask Congress to provide the largest possible allocation for the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee. That allocation is known in Congress as the “302(b),” and the bigger the pot, the more available for LDA’s priority programs.

A letter cosponsored by the Committee for Education Funding, the Coalition on Human Needs, the Coalition for Health Funding, and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce calls on Congress to ensure funding for “nondefense discretionary” programs is adequate to cover all the many important federal programs and activities.  Nondefense discretionary programs include education, health, employment and training, commerce, transportation, environment – pretty much everything other than Defense and Homeland Security and mandatory programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and some childcare and student financial aid.

Of real importance for LDA members is to understand the nature of how things work in Washington.  Without large coalitions such as the ones sponsoring this letter, it is almost impossible to impact congressional and administrative processes.  The more voices that join together on an issue, the greater chance that positive changes will occur for individuals with learning disabilities.

LDA participates regularly in a number of coalitions, such as the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the National Coalition for Public Education, the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, Advocates for Literacy, and the Title IV-A Coalition.  These groups bring together like-minded national organizations that establish annual priorities and strategies to meet those goals. Coalition organizations go to Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress about the concerns and priorities of the group.  LDA is fortunate to have such dedicated partners, and, in turn, LDA brings to the table information on how programs and policies will affect children, youth, and adults with learning disabilities.

We will be highlighting more of the activities of these coalitions as the year continues.  Please feel free to contact LDA if you are interested in more information.

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