The children and youth with disabilities” (U.S Department

TheIndividuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law guaranteeing administrationsto children with inabilities all through the country. IDEA governs “how statesand public agencies provide early intervention, special education and relatedservices to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children andyouth with disabilities” (U.S Department of Education, 2017, p.

1). According to the National Center of Education Statistics, in 1975, theIndividuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly known as theEducation for All Handicapped Children Act, ordered the arrangement of a freeand proper government funded school training for qualified youngsters and youthages 3– 21.TheIDEA provides protection for “eligible children and youth that have been identifiedby a team of professionals as having a disability that adversely affectsacademic performance and as needing special education and related services”(U.

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S Department of Education, 2017, p. 2). Even though a child may be struggling, a student must be identified as oneand/or more of the 13 categories. However, data collection for these serviceswas not monitored for compliance until 1976 (NCES, 2017).Asa Special Education Teacher in the public-school system, I have noticed changesregarding the assistance for Special Education states. In these past fewmonths, the State of Texas have been exposed as not allowing children anopportunity to receive the necessary academic support to be successful. It isillegal to not provide the adequate services to a child.

Therefore, as anadvocate I arranged a meeting with an elected official. Toarrange a meeting with an elected official an individual must identify thedistrict in which they reside. I reside in DeSoto, Texas, which is 10 minutesoutside of Dallas, Texas. My residence is considered Dallas County District 30.

According to Texas Government national website, Congresswoman Eddie BerniceJohnson would be my elected official for the House of Representatives, as wellas Senator Royce West. Therefore, by scheduling a meeting with Senator RoyceWest, I was able to discuss my concerns regarding the Individuals withDisabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Accordingto the National Center of Education Statistics, (2017), “Advocates for kidswith disabilities just saw a key bill fly through both chambers, which wouldstop the state from capping special education services at 8.

5 percent ofstudents” (Students with disabilities, p. 1). Those key bills have caused anissue for the State of Texas with the federal government. My advocacy isregarding House Bill 21, which states, “adding funding for dyslexia students.” Accordingto Janna Lilly, director of governmental relations for the Texas Council ofAdministrators of Special Education has projected that the bill may not go farin the Senate as it requires money.Arrangingthe visit was challenging for me at first as I was having a tough time speakingwith someone. After several attempts, I was finally told that Senator West wasin Austin and Congresswoman Johnson will not be in the Dallas office untilMid-August.

As that would be too late to do a face to face meeting. I wasfortunate to be placed with West Chief of Staff, LaJuana Barton. Ms.

Barton wasa very kindred spirit. I was welcomed with much gratitude and respect. Duringmy visit, Ms. Barton and I discussed the many accomplishments and sponsorshipsof Senator Royce West. Senator Royce West has been elected to his fourth termto Senate but, has been involved in politics since 1993. I was enlightened bythe many accomplishments Senator West has been acknowledged for.

Senator Westis a part of four departmental committees, including Education. He isinfluential in the city of Dallas along with Dallas County as he has beencredited with numerous wins. During the 2009 Legislative Session, Senator West showcasedhis support for helping children and families by passing the legislation thatmade a connection care program whereby qualified relative can receive statesupport to assist raising children who could otherwise become part of thefoster care system (Senator Royce West, District 23).

Aftera few minutes of formal and persuasive introductions, I presented my viewpoint,House Bill 21. The bill had been brought to Senator West already as he is onthe Education committee for the Senate. Nevertheless, Ms. Barton was widelyimpressed by the extensive research and detailed facts that was provided. Theimpeccable statistics and current and past bills that did not fully address theissues of special education students needs for instance, Senate bill 748 andHouse Bill 61 which refers to allocate more services to special needs studentsand academic recognition for district special needs students.

Ms.Barton explained that Senator West is a proud supporter of equality, family andchildren. Senator West is aware of the House Bill 21. Currently, it is stillwithin the House and he is waiting for it to pass down the floor. According tothe Legislative scan, House Bill 21 is mainly supported by State RepresentativeDan Huberty (Republican). House Bill 21 is considered a slight partisan bill.

Ms. Barton was surprised that the Republicans were backing the House Bill 21 asit requires readjusting the Department of Education budget. The currentsupporters of House Bill 21 are 16-8; 16 Republicans and 8 Democrats. Byadvocating this bill, I plan to let the voices of my special needs students beheard.

There have been numerous bills as I have stated earlier, that have”died” in the House due to lack of support. I asked that Senator West become asupporter of House Bill 21 therefore, “No Child is Left Behind.” Ms. Bartoncould not give a definite answer of Senator West support however, she stated,”if the bill is of interest to Senator West, he would definitely have it inconsideration.

”  I thanked Ms. Barton forher gracious time and looked forward to hearing great news regarding House Bill21.  Overall, the meeting went extremelywell.  


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