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Congress Broke a Promise to Properly Fund a Law Protecting Students with Disabilities. Here Are the Serious Consequences.

July 23, 2019

By: Valerie Strauss

Source: The Washington Post

In January 2017, Betsy DeVos, who was soon to become President Trump’s education secretary, appeared before Congress at her confirmation hearing and displayed ignorance about a key federal law aimed at protecting students with disabilities.

The law is the Individuals With Disabilities Act, known as IDEA, and DeVos appeared not to realize it is a federal law that all states must follow.

During conversations about it, first with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and later with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), DeVos repeatedly said it was up to the states to decide whether to follow the law. Hassan at one point told her that IDEA is a federal civil rights law and asked DeVos: “So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDEA that it was a federal law?”

DeVos responded, “I may have confused it.”

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