Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Badass Teachers Association
MARLA KILFOYLE, Executive Director BATs
MELISSA TOMLINSON, Asst. Executive Director BATs


The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) Condemn DeVos Rescinding Special Education Guidance Documents

The Badass Teachers Association, a grassroots national education activist organization with over 200,000 teachers and education activists in their network, strongly condemn Sec. DeVos for rescinding special education guidance documents.  Guidance documents are the federal interpretation of regulations that make it easier for states and districts to understand, and to help them draft policy. BATs has stated before and will reiterate, that federal guidance is needed to ensure that all children receive a free and appropriate education.  Federal guidance is needed so that education is rooted in equity, equality, and fairness for all children regardless of zip code or capability.

“Knowledge is power- DeVos has chosen to keep parents in the dark about the educational and legal rights of their children with disabilities. In rescinding USDOE guidelines, she is allowing states and local districts to interpret the law in their interest without consistency, thus abandoning a commitment to equity of protection for all children. This decision sets us back to the days when parents were on their own in securing a free, appropriate public education for their disabled children.” ~ Terry Kalb, Co-Director BATs Special Education Committee, and Special Education Advocate

“As a lifelong special educator and parent of a child with a disability, rescinding these guidance documents create roadblocks that will deny our children services, while we engage in the impartial hearing process to reinstate them, at great taxpayer expense. Lawyers will be the only people to benefit from this shameless action. Our children will continue to grow - time doesn’t stop for them. They will lose services, and they will suffer, and lose precious time in their education. My child is college-bound thanks to great special education and support services. Without them, he would have no skills and would never be able to realize his dreams.” ~Lorri Gumanow, Co-Director BATs Special Education Committee, and Special Education Teacher

"As the mother of a child with special needs and as an educator of children in this country, I am beyond disgusted. Children with disabilities rely on federal guidance to protect them and what DeVos has now done is say to millions of children with disabilities that we are not going to take care of you. Rest assured that parents and school leaders will be challenging this in court.” ~Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director, The Badass Teachers Association (BATs).

“Whatever gains we fought so hard to win in the hopes of improving the education for all students, are disappearing before our very eyes. She is not a Secretary of Education; she is the harbinger of the destruction of Public Education.” ~Gus Morales, Board Member, The Badass Teachers Association (BATs)

"The so-called Education Department is once again victimizing our most vulnerable students. This time they are rescinding documents that help parents advocate for the rights of children with disabilities and guide schools on how to spend federal funding. How can we allow these billionaires in Washington to abuse our special needs children? This is an outrage that will not stand. " ~Dr. Michael Flanagan, Co-Director BATs Action Team, and Public School Educator

 “I teach students with special needs. I am disgusted with Secretary DeVos' lack of a conscience. How can someone place in a position to protect children be allowed to do so much harm to our most vulnerable population? What shall I tell my students? Perhaps Betsy would like to face my special needs students and their parents to tell them their nation doesn't give a damned about them anymore. I cannot support a government that treats children like this. Betsy DeVos must be removed from her position.  Our children are counting on us to rise up together.”~Jamy Brice-Hyde, Director of BATs Quality of Work Life Team and Public School Educator

“Regulations are a necessity to create an equitable interpretation of the law for all students. The dismissal of these regulations by Betsy DeVos shows her total lack of understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Haphazard interpretation from states and districts will open up the floor for numerous lawsuits that will further divert money from the classroom. We hope that NEA and AFT will engage in a legal battle to protect our students.”~Melissa Tomlinson, Asst. Executive Director BATs and Public School Educator.

Parents, educators, children, and the disability community call on Sec. DeVos to end her attack on our children.  School districts rely on guidance documents to frame their policies, and without that guidance, our children with disabilities could fall victim to education policies that do not provide them with a free and appropriate education. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.