In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Although the HELP Committee narrowly approved the DeVos nomination, opposition is mounting in the disability and civil rights communities.
At The New York Times, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), whose son has cerebral palsy, explains why she opposes DeVos:
At her nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions last month, I questioned Ms. DeVos on whether she would enforce the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, the law that ensures that all students receive a free and full education in our schools. Not only did Ms. DeVos decline to assure senators that she would enforce the law to protect students with disabilities, but she also demonstrated her confusion about whether the I.D.E.A. is a federal law.At Time, Tim Kaine and Tom Harkin offer some background:
As a former chairman and current member of the Senate committee that focuses on education, we are deeply concerned by President Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos.
A nominee for Secretary of Education should know that a child with a disability has a constitutional right to education. This right was recognized in 1972, when two U.S. courts — the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania in PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia in Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia — found that children with disabilities could not be barred from public education because of their disabilities. The D.C. District Court judge, using the equal protection clause as the foundation of his argument, ordered the District of Columbia Public Schools to provide accessible, free and suitable education for all children of school age regardless of disability or impairment.