As your constituent and a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)—the largest professional organization of special education teachers, administrators, higher education professionals, parents, and others concerned with the education of children with disabilities, giftedness, or both—I am writing to urge you to work together to avoid the need for sequestration, and pass a balanced deficit reduction plan that invests in education.
I, like all Americans, have been greatly impacted by the recent financial crisis and decreasing state revenues. The budget cuts in my state which have already occurred due to this crisis have lead to increased class sizes, reduced services, and reductions in staff. My district and state cannot withstand more cuts. Yet, if Congress and the Administration don't act soon sequestration will begin. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that sequestration will mean a cut of approximately 8% to all education programs. This means that the entire U.S. Department of Education's budget will be reduced by approximately $4 billion, and
• IDEA Part B Grants to States CUT by $903 Million
• IDEA Part B Section 619 Program CUT by $29 Million
• IDEA Part C Infants & Toddlers CUT by $35 Million
• IDEA Part D National Programs CUT by $19 Million
• Special Education Research CUT by $4 Million
These cuts will be felt by every single school in the nation and will impact educators' abilities to serve children and youth with disabilities appropriately. Furthermore, they come at a time when other cuts have made it impossible to not reduce essential services.
I am asking you to consider the potential impact of this across-the- board cut on children and youth, families, professionals and communities before allowing these cuts to deny resources and supports to those who need them most. We need legislation that is well crafted to provide schools the flexibility they need to continue to employ teachers and other specialized instructional support personnel to educate diverse students and ensure they receive the services to which they are entitled.
Avoid sequester and pass a balanced deficit reduction measure.
If you would like any additional information about this bill, please contact Lindsay Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org at the Council for Exceptional Children.
Thank you for your consideration of my request, and I look forward to your response.