Rick Smith, CEO, International Dyslexia Association sent the following communication to all branches of IDA. Please read and respond. Please forward this link to any educators you know who stand in agreement with IDA about the risk to students with dyslexia and other related reading difference if the appointment of Betsy DeVos becomes a reality
As leaders committed to creating a future for every individual who struggles with dyslexia and other related reading differences, we have a responsibility to speak out when that future is at risk. The nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education presents such a risk. IDA urges you to read our press release “DeVos Nomination-Leading Advocate for Children with Reading Differences Speaks Out” and take action in one of the following ways:
Call or email your Senators:
• Contact the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121
• Find your Senators’ contact information at https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
My name is (your name) and I am a constituent of Senator (your Senator’s name).
I am calling to urge Senator (your Senator’s name) to vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.
As a developmental pediatrician/parent/psychologist/social worker/teacher/nurse practitioner who works with children with disabilities, I am appalled by Ms. DeVos’s apparent lack of understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Approximately 13% of public school children are in special education, and it is essential that a Secretary of Education be knowledgeable and supportive of the federal laws that guide special education services. I am also concerned about Ms. DeVos’s lack of experience in and support for the public education system.
I am asking Senator (your Senator’s name) to vote “No” on Ms. DeVos’s confirmation.
Dear Senator (your Senator’s name):
I am a developmental pediatrician/parent/psychologist/social worker/teacher/nurse practitioner who works with children with developmental disabilities, and I urge you to vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.
I have grave concerns about the qualifications of Ms. DeVos due to her lack of experience in the public education system as well as her record of support for charter and private schools that are not obligated to follow federal education standards or guidelines. Most urgently, as a professional who specializes in evaluating and treating children with autism, Down syndrome, learning disabilities, ADHD, and other developmental and behavioral disorders, I am extremely concerned about Ms. DeVos’s apparent lack of understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that guarantees a “free and appropriate public education” to children with disabilities. During her confirmation hearing this week, Ms. DeVos appeared to be unfamiliar with IDEA and the protections afforded to students with disabilities through IDEA, stating that she felt that enforcement of this federal law should be left up to the states. This is unacceptable and clearly indicates that Ms. DeVos is unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education.
With approximately 13% of public school children in special education, it is essential that an Education Secretary be knowledgeable and supportive of the federal laws that guide special education services. Please vote “No” on Ms. DeVos’s confirmation.
Thank you for your consideration,
The confirmation vote is scheduled for January 31st at 10:00 am ET, so please take a few moments as soon as possible to call or write to your Senators.
Rick Smith, CEO
International Dyslexia Association
40 York Road, 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21204