DearColleague.us

Letter

Mark DeSaulnier

From the office of:

Mark DeSaulnier

Sending Office: Honorable Mark DeSaulnier
Sent By:
Anthony.Hanna@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: Wednesday, March 11th
Sign-On Form

Current Co-Signers (33): Reps. Bass, Brownley, Cárdenas, Danny K. Davis, DeFazio, Escobar, Gallego, Golden, Gottheimer, Grijalva, Haaland, Hayes, Jayapal, Khanna, Kim, Kuster, Langevin, Andy Levin, Lofgren, Malinowski,
Sean Patrick Maloney, Norton, Ocasio-Cortez, Pappas, Pingree, Porter, Pressley, Scanlon, Sewell, Sherman, Speier, Young

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in sending the attached letter to the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee requesting $21 million in appropriations for the Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) program for Fiscal Year 2021.

The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System is a congressionally-mandated, state-implemented program that provides legal and advocacy support to people with disabilities. Every state and U.S. territory has a P&A program that helps people with disabilities gain
access to health care, transportation, accessible housing, financial benefits, employment, and education, and also seeks to protect people with disabilities from abuse and neglect.

As one of the programs run by the P&As, the work performed through the PAIR program ranges from information and referral to individual advocacy cases and systemic. Approximately 1/3 of all PAIR related work is focused on protecting the rights of children
in schools under IDEA, the ADA, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Despite evidence of the PAIR program’s success, there are tens of thousands of eligible school age children who cannot access PAIR services because of inadequate funding. The program
is in need of a funding increase.

I hope you will join me in this effort to provide students, teachers, families, and communities with more resources to help students succeed. To sign on please fill out

this form
by March 11th.

If you have questions, please contact Anthony Hanna in Congressman DeSaulnier’s office at
anthony.hanna@mail.house.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Mark DeSaulnier                                                                               

Member of Congress

 

Letter Text:

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro                                    The Honorable Tom Cole
Chairwoman                                                                Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human              Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human                      
Services, and Education                                              Services, and Education
2358-B Rayburn House Office Building                    2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole,

As you begin crafting the Fiscal Year 2021 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Act, we write to request a $4 million increase in appropriations for the Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights
(PAIR) program. This would bring the total appropriations for the PAIR program to $21 million. There is a growing and unmet need for educational advocacy for students with disabilities that would be helped by increasing the funding for the PAIR program.

Too many students with disabilities face barriers to receiving appropriate educational services through low expectations by school personnel or discrimination. In the 2017-2018 school year, 14 percent of all public school students, or 7 million students,
received services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Of these 7 million students, only 67 percent graduate with a high school diploma, as opposed to 86 percent of students without disabilities.

Parents of children with disabilities currently have few resources to help them understand and navigate the education system. PAIR staff work with students, families, and education personnel to ensure students receive the supports and services they are entitled
to receive under IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Congress has a direct stake in ensuring the safety of and successful outcomes for students with disabilities so they become economically self-sufficient
and live and participate in their communities.

Approximately one third of all PAIR related work is focused on protecting the rights of children in schools under IDEA, the ADA, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The work performed through the PAIR program ranges from information and referral to
individual advocacy cases and systemic advocacy.

Despite evidence of the PAIR program’s success, there are tens of thousands of eligible school age children who cannot access PAIR services because of inadequate funding. An increase in appropriations to $21 million would allow agencies in every state and
territory to expand their work in this critical area and help ensure the rights of children with disabilities and their families. The need is there, the impact of this advocacy would be felt throughout the country, and the benefits for the children, their
families, and all the country would be felt for decades to come.

We appreciate your consideration of our request, and we look forward to working with you to support this important program.

 

Sincerely,
 

Mark DeSaulnier                                                                    

Member of Congress                                                             

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Civil Rights, Family Issues

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