BILL REQ. #: H-3787.1
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
TO THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA, 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 ARNE DUNCAN, SECRETARY OF
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
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 have witnessed a revolution in promoting, protecting, and advancing the education rights of students with disabilities since Congress originally enacted Public Law 94-142, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975, later to be known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA; and
WHEREAS, IDEA has helped millions of children with special needs receive a quality education; and
WHEREAS, When Congress enacted the predecessor legislation to IDEA in 1975, the federal government was to pay up to forty percent of each state's "excess cost" of educating children with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, Appropriations for IDEA have increased over the last decade, however, federal funding for IDEA has never exceeded eighteen percent of the states' cost; and
WHEREAS, In the current economic downturn, with states facing billions of dollars in funding shortfalls, this long-term federal practice of failing to maximize federal IDEA funding is straining the budgets of school districts and states since local communities and states are forced to pay a higher proportion of special education costs; and
WHEREAS, It is time for the federal government to pay its fair share of the costs of IDEA and fulfill its commitment to students with disabilities, their families, and the states and school districts that provide the students with a free and appropriate public education;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that Congress pass and the President sign federal legislation to fully fund forty percent of the costs of IDEA, recognizing that some types of disabilities are much more expensive to address than others and that the distribution of children with severe and more expensive disabilities may cluster in some areas that have outstanding medical facilities or exemplary programs for specific disabilities.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, Arne Duncan, Secretary of the United States Department of Education, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.