Today, I am begrudgingly breaking a long standing rule on this blog of not talking about politics...
Yesterday a new Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed by the Senate. DeVos a wealthy Republican donor who never attended a public school, is not an educator and has spent most of her life promoting charter schools and vouchers is now in charge of almost 100,000 public schools.
Today the government website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is not responding...
I'm going to go out on a limb and say if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you better start calling your Senators and Congresspeople.
About IDEA from the ADA website
What is IDEA?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires states to provide a "free, appropriate public education" to children with disabilities so they can be educated to the greatest extent possible along with all other children. Qualifying children are entitled to special education and related services at no cost to their parents/guardians.
Who is covered?
To receive services under IDEA, a child with with a disability must show that he or she needs special education and related services in order to benefit from education. An evaluation of the child must show that, because of the child's disability, the child's educational performance is harmed. There are three situations in which a child with diabetes might be covered under IDEA:
1. The child has another disability which impacts his or her ability to learn, but diabetes itself does not cause an impact in learning. For example, a child with Down syndrome might have an impact in learning.
2. Both diabetes and another disability combined impact the child's ability to learn. For example, it might be determined that a child's ability to learn is impacted by both autism and diabetes.
3. The child's diabetes, by itself, causes an impact on learning. This is categorized as an "other health impairment" under the IDEA.
While it is most common for a child with diabetes to qualify for IDEA because of having another disability in addition to diabetes, it is also possible that diabetes itself can cause an impact in learning. For example, it is often difficult to learn when blood sugar levels are either too high or too low. If a child with diabetes is having difficulty managing his or her blood sugar level, this may hurt how well the child does in school. Academic progress might also suffer if a child with diabetes misses a significant amount of classroom instruction each day in order to attend to diabetes care tasks.
The Center for Parent Information and Resources describes "Other Health Impairments" like this.
“Other Health Impairment” is one of the 14 categories of disability listed in our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under IDEA, a child who has an “other health impairment” is very likely to be eligible for special services to help the child address his or her educational, developmental, and functional needs resulting from the disability.
(i) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
You can read the rest on their website here.
update 9:54am - Dept of Ed says this is not purposeful.