December 14, 2004
Dear Parents and Advocates,
On December 3, 2004, President Bush signed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Throughout the past two years, the National Committee of Parents and Advocates Organized to Protect IDEA worked diligently in an effort to ensure that the best interests of children were preserved in this reauthorization process. We appreciate your efforts and thank you for your assistance.
Provisions that were very important to parents and advocates were lost or significantly changed from the current law. This new law has many changes that are likely to affect how education services are delivered to students with disabilities.
It is extremely important for family members and other advocates to understand the changes in the law and how these changes will make a difference to students. To help, the National Committee of Parents and Advocates Organized to Protect IDEA has developed the attached analysis of the new law for your information.
It is important to understand that the next step in the process involves rule making at the Federal level. We anticipate being involved in that process and will keep you apprised, since your input will also be critical. While that is happening, however, State Education Agencies and others will likely be reviewing this new law to determine what impact it may have on state laws and rules.
Soon you will receive information suggesting ideas for working at the state level to preserve and protect the educational rights of children with disabilities. Key discussions on implementation will soon shift to states, where we hope you will continue to be involved.
Center for Law and Education
National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
National Coalition of Parent Centers
National Council on Independent Living
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Down Syndrome Society
Our Children Left Behind
Respect ABILITY Law Center