You may have heard about another bill, H.R. 899, which calls for the termination of the Department of Education entirely. Constituents rightly reacted with horror to such a bill, and it’s unlikely to pass. H.R. 610 is called the Choices in Education Act, and is largely billed as an advancement of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ ill-conceived school voucher program, but it would effectively abolish the Department of Education, as well. Calling for block grants for school vouchers are part of the bill, but it would also repeal two laws protecting students, and severely limit the scope of the department’s authority.
The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced Bill 610. This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5 to 17, and starts the de-funding process of public schools.
The bill will eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA) of 1965 which is the nation’s educational law and provides equal opportunity in education. It is a comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.
The bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. For our most vulnerable, this may be the ONLY nutritious food they have in a day.
The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting special needs kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.
Some things the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA) of 1965 does for Children with Disabilities:
-ensures access to the general education curriculum
-ensures access to accommodations on assessments
-ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups
-requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).
Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.
Please copy and paste this post (rather than hitting “share”) so it isn’t limited to the friends we have in common. Thanks for advocating on behalf of our nation’s youth and their families. FBPSC