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      Pushing the Envelope: Voting to Protect Special Education

      Topics: Pushing the Envelope: Letters from Our CEO

      A Letter from the CEO: Vote to Protect Special Education

      voters-at-booths-wearing-masksNever has there been a more important time to vote. In 2016 only 60% of eligible voters actually voted! That missing 40% of voters would have had a huge impact on federal and local elections.

      Please exercise your right to vote.

      When Congress passed the IDEA Act (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) in 1990, they promised that the federal government would pay 40% of special education costs. But that promise has not been kept. Today the federal share of IDEA is now less than 14%, far below what was promised.

      It is important to vote for legislators who will commit to fully funding IDEA as federal funding is vital to funding special education. If the burden falls to individual states they are then forced to choose between raising taxes versus cutting critically needed services.

      The National Education Association has a list of congressional candidates they recommend based on their support of the IDEA Act and education generally.

      This year, due to COVID, how to go about voting has become confusing. For help voting in your state and community use this free site to guide you on how to vote. An organization called HeadCount has also prepared an easy to use guide on how to vote in your community.

      mother-and-son-voted-stickerIf you are worried about your health and voting, you can vote early (see the above sites for information). So many people are voting early that election officials are reporting that they think long lines on election day will not be much of a problem – but vote early anyway!  And, despite some rumors, the good news is that elections have never been more secure: Due to some challenges during the 2016 elections, experts now believe that new safety measures put in place will make elections much more secure than they have been in the past.

      Please join me in supporting our children – especially those with special needs or who lack the resources and need support in order to succeed at school and in life.

      -Angela Nelson, CEO Stages Learning

      Editor: Autism Resources & Community

      Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M.

      Written by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M.

      Angela Nelson is the creator of the widely-recognized Language Builder Picture Card Series, and the creator and lead author for the Language Builder ARIS curriculum. Angela received her BA and JD from UCLA where she studied and practiced behavior psychology under Dr. Ivar Lovaas, and her Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a focus on technology innovation and education. As Founder and CEO of Stages Learning Materials, Angela has created autism, special needs and early childhood curriculum products since 1997. In addition to her duties at Stages, Angela writes for multiple industry publications and is Chair of the Education Market Association.