BILL REQ. #: S-1657.1
|State of Washington||58th Legislature||2003 Regular Session|
Read first time 02/20/2003. Referred to Committee on Education.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE HONORABLE TERRY
BERGESON, SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, We are a nation committed to ensuring that every boy and girl in America is learning - regardless of disability status; and
WHEREAS, No child should be left behind in our schools and children with disabilities remain one of the most at risk of being left behind; and
WHEREAS, The supply of special education teachers is not meeting the demand and almost two-thirds of Washington special education teachers report that they will be out of the field in five years due to unpaid work, case overload, paperwork, lack of adequate training, and personal safety reasons; and
WHEREAS, Many educators, particularly those who teach special education classes, find that the amount of required paperwork dramatically reduces both the quantity and quality of time they can devote to their students and their profession; and
WHEREAS, In a survey of four thousand current and former certified special educators in Washington, more than half of the respondents say they work from five to twelve unpaid hours per week and around seventy percent report that their jobs are harder now than they were three years ago; and
WHEREAS, We believe that the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) continues to be underfunded and that the current version of the IDEA creates unnecessary regulatory burdens that hamper the abilities of special education teachers to do their jobs; and
WHEREAS, In August of 2000, the Office of the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction revised a set of model forms for services to students in special education to help with the paperwork overload; and
WHEREAS, We believe that a set of model forms at the federal level would help give additional guidance on how to limit the amount of required paperwork to that which is appropriate and necessary to help children achieve their educational goals without diminishing the level or quality of education provided to the student; and
WHEREAS, We cannot fix the growing problem alone given the role of the federal government;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that Congress pass and the President approve legislation that would require a review of special education paperwork and consider providing a set of model forms at the federal level to help to determine the most appropriate amount and the most appropriate type of paperwork that will help students receiving special education to achieve their educational goals without diminishing the level or quality of education provided to the student and that will continue to protect the rights of parents and students guaranteed under the IDEA; and
Your Memorialists further respectfully pray that Congress provide adequate funding for the IDEA and pursue reform of the IDEA that will streamline the procedural requirements, encourage flexibility, innovation, and choices at all levels of special education and address the flight of special education teachers from the field.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the Honorable Terry Bergeson, Superintendent of Public Instruction, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.