APA's Practice Directorate and Public Policy Office (PPO) collaborated on aspects of the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), passed by Congress on Nov. 19 and signed into law by President Bush on Dec. 3.
The legislation, last reauthorized in 1997, regulates special education for more than 6.7 million children with special needs. The bill authorizes $12.4 billion in 2005 and annual increases of about $2.3 billion each subsequent year. The legislation will be written into regulations by the U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
The Practice Directorate and PPO helped remove language from the legislation that would have limited children's access to mental health services. APA also worked on pieces of the legislation as a member of the National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
Additional information about IDEA is available on the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Web site, http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html.
--PRACTICE DIRECTORATE STAFF