Action Alert: Call Your Senator to Save Equitable Access Protections for Students with Disabilities!

Action Alert!  As soon as Wednesday, March 8th, the Senate will consider S.J. Res 25, which would undermine the critical principles supporting education for students with disabilities included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Please call your Senators today (202) 224-3121
and tell them to vote NO on S.J. Res 25!

Background

Mitch McConnell addresses the pressIn 2015, Congress passed ESSA. Parents of children with disabilities and advocates fought hard to ensure that ESSA maintained the basic principle that students with disabilities be taught the same academic content and held to the same achievement standards as all students. ESSA includes critical civil rights principles to protect all students.

In late November 2016, the US Department of Education adopted regulations implementing ESSA. The accountability provisions in the regulations ensure that students with disabilities have equitable access to education.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to overturn the ESSA regulations. As soon as Wednesday, March 8, the Senate is set to vote on the repeal of ESSA regulations. If the regulations are repealed, students with disabilities lose the protections the regulations provide to ensure equitable access to education.

What’s at Stake

Among the critical provisions of the Regulations that will be lost are requirements that:

  • States demonstrate how they will support local schools in providing a well-rounded education and rigorous coursework for students with disabilities;
  • Test results for students with disabilities be disaggregated and reported separately so we see how well schools are doing in educating students with disabilities;
  • Schools include parents and students in school improvement activities when a school is struggling to educate all children;
  • Students with significant cognitive disabilities who take an alternative assessment are not precluded from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma; and
  • Aim to reduce bullying and harassment by requiring states to help local schools implement activities that create safe, healthy, and affirming school environments inclusive of all students.

What You Can Do to Ensure Equity for Children with Disabilities

CALL YOUR SENATOR! The Senate will vote on whether to overturn the ESSA accountability regulation as soon as Wednesday, March 8th.

Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. Let your Senators know that they must protect the rights of students with disabilities and ask them to vote “no” on H.J. Res. 57.

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