Statement by Deborah Ziegler, Associate Executive Director, Policy and Advocacy Services The Council for Exceptional Children
The Council for Exceptional Children – on behalf of its members who serve on the frontline of education – opposes the passage of H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution to fund federal programs, by the House of Representatives on Saturday.
This shortsighted legislation cuts billions of dollars from education programs – under the guise of fiscal responsibility – that will only result in undermining the academic achievement of our nation’s students and putting the success of our future workforce at risk.
Recognizing the devastating impact a cut of this magnitude would have on students, school districts, and states, Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) sponsored an amendment – which passed by a vote of 249 to 179 – to restore all $557.7 million to IDEA. CEC commends Rep. McMorris-Rodgers for her leadership and commitment to children and youth with disabilities.
CEC fundamentally disagrees, however, with the restoration of IDEA funding using funds cut from other critical education programs. Given that 60 percent of all special education students spend approximately 80 percent of their time in a general education classroom, restoring IDEA by cutting other education programs is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
CEC and its 35,000 members stand ready to support legislation which recognizes the vital role of IDEA funding to the achievement of America’s 6 million students with disabilities receiving special education services within a strong, well-funded general education system.