Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Congress broke a promise to properly fund a law protecting students with disabilities. Here are the serious consequences. - The Washington Post

Congress broke a promise to properly fund a law protecting students with disabilities. Here are the serious consequences. - The Washington Post

Congress broke a promise to properly fund a law protecting students with disabilities. Here are the serious consequences.

In January 2017, Betsy DeVos, who was soon to become President Trump’s education secretary, appeared before Congress at her confirmation hearing and displayed ignorance about a key federal law aimed at protecting students with disabilities.
The law is the Individuals With Disabilities Act, known as IDEA, and DeVos appeared not to realize it is a federal law that all states must follow.
During conversations about it, first with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and later with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), DeVos repeatedly said it was up to the states to decide whether to follow the law. Hassan at one point told her that IDEA is a federal civil rights law and asked DeVos: “So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDEA that it was a federal law?”
DeVos responded, “I may have confused it.”

DeVos did, in fact, confuse it, but it is also true that Congress hasn’t lived up to its promises about IDEA — and that failure has harmed many students with disabilities. This post explains the broken promises and the consequences.
It was written by Meghan Schrader, who has a master’s degree in musicology and has served as an affiliate faculty member in disability studies. Her experience growing up with a learning disorder also inspired her to serve on the governing board of Boston ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) in 2015 and to volunteer as an education advocate for disabled students in foster care.

Her research exploring bioethics issues in respect to musical representations of disability in 1950s America was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She maintains a personal blog called Diary of a Learning-Disabled Academic, through which she expresses her perspective on disability-rights issues. She is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Quell Foundation Fighter scholarship. You can find more of her writing on her CONTINUE READING: Congress broke a promise to properly fund a law protecting students with disabilities. Here are the serious consequences. - The Washington Post

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