I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I was away for the weekend and had an IEP meeting for a client first thing this morning, so I’m just getting back into the swing of things. I actually had planned to skip this feature this week, and wouldn’t you know it? I was cleaning out my email and came across an issue that just cannot wait until next week. We all know that special education and education in general is underfunded, so when I hear that the House Appropriations committee is considering cutting another $2 billion from special ed, I just had to post.
Let’s not forget…….we are still waiting for our 40% that was promised to us in 1975!
In a nutshell, here’s the scenario–
Our Congress is undergoing another round of budget talks for the new budget. The budget begins in Appropriations. You can see the full list of Appropriations Committee Members here, and see if your local Rep is on the committee. Generally, unless someone chairs a committee, they are not interested in hearing from folks that are not in their district. Yes, ideally they should be concerned with all Americans, but it’s their district who decides if they go back to Congress or not so that is who they listen to most.
The chair of the Appropriations committee is Harold Rogers, from Kentucky. His Twitter handle is @RepHalRogers.
The official Twitter Handle of the House Appropriations Committee–just the Democrats, is @HouseAppropsDems. The head of the Education Committee is a Representative from Minnesota who has actually asked for more funding and of course therefore would be against the cuts. His name is John Kline and he’s @RepJohnKline. The one for the Republicans is @HouseAppropsGOP
But, of course, I’m going to make it easy for you. Here, step by step, is what you can do.
1. Go over to the Council for Exceptional Children and sign up for their email and follow them on Facebook and Twitter if you are on those. So far, it appears that CEC is emerging as the ringleader of other groups, as far as lobbying against the funding cuts.
2. Check the link above, see if your folks are on the committee. If they are, write to them and tell them you oppose the cuts. Give them a personal story of you and your child. If your person is not on the committee, write to them anyway. Here is how to Contact Congress. Remember, this is a FEDERAL issue, not a state one. Do NOT contact your local PA reps and State Senators, they have nothing to do with this.
3. You can always tweet them, with these ready made tweets for you. Just click these boxes and voila, you’ll be tweeting!
[Tweet “@HouseAppropsDems @HouseAppropsGOP You already owe IDEA 40%, you cant cut another $2bill.@RepHalRogers @RepJohnKline http://ow.ly/lts99 “]
[Tweet “SpecEd is struggling NO budget cuts. Where is our 40%? @HouseAppropsDems @HouseAppropsGOP @RepHalRogers @RepJohnKline http://ow.ly/lttgo “]
Thanks, and please share this post, we need to be heard!