Trump Education Budget Asks Students with Disabilities to Give Up Their Civil Rights

For Immediate Release             
May 24, 2017

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

WASHINGTON – On May 23rd the Trump Administration proposed a budget that guts key programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that provide crucial services to schools, such as counselors and after school programs. The budget also slashes Medicaid funds that public school districts rely upon to provide services mandated by law for students with disabilities, such as speech and physical therapy and behavioral support.

Responding to the proposed budget, NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker said:

“The cuts proposed by the Department of Education will hurt all students but target students with disabilities for exceptionally harsh treatment.

“We are particularly concerned with the Administrations’ efforts to divert funding from public schools to fund school voucher and voucher-like schemes. In our experience, these voucher schemes often require students with disabilities to waive their rights under key special education laws in order to access private schools.

“Children with disabilities should not be made to choose between attending an underfunded public school or giving up their civil rights to attend a private one. That is an outrageous proposition.  

“This budget threatens every students’ right to a well-funded, safe, rigorous and robust public education. Congress should flatly reject the President’s proposal and instead invest in children by fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and preventing cuts to ESSA and Medicaid, so that the needs of children with disabilities are not pitted against those without.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.