While legislation like the IDEA and ADA were huge victories for the disability community, we must continue to fight to ensure proper implementation and enforcement. When Congress first passed the IDEA, it intended to fully fund the law at 40% of the additional cost of educating students with disabilities. However, federal funding has never even reached even half of that amount—leaving it to states and localities to try to make up the difference. The Arc continues to advocate for the government to meet the full funding amount.
Our Policy Goals
The Arc’s Public Policy Goals include many strategies to ensure that the promises of legislation like the IDEA, ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), and other laws are met. The Arc joins partner organizations in advocacy to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are included and properly addressed when education legislation arises – and alerts The Arc’s grassroots when action is needed. We also engage in legal advocacy when laws are not properly enforced.
Our Coalition Work
The CCD Education Task Force — which The Arc co-chairs — works to ensure that the educational needs of children with disabilities and their families are being met through early intervention, k-12, and higher education. The task force advocates for proper funding, implementation, and oversight of established programs and works to ensure that evolving approaches to education, such as school choice (including “vouchers”) provide the same rights and protections that students with disabilities have under existing civil rights and education laws.