Festivus isn’t over…

3 Jan

…until someone pins me.

Yes, in my listing of seasonal Holidays I neglected Festivus. (Festivus is a holiday invented by the family of one of the writers of the show Seinfeld and made known through that show). Festivus doesn’t end until the someone pins the host in the “feats of strength”. For the moment I’ll abscond with Kev’s rightful position as host of LeftBrainRightBrain and claim that since I have not been pinned, Festivus is still ongoing, I will use this opportunity to express another Festivus tradition: the airing of grievances.

The U.S. federal government was a major disappointment last year. There are many reasons, but today I will focus on the failure (once again) to fulfill their commitment to the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA).

Barack Obama set out this promise during his campaign:

Fully Funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Barack Obama has been a strong and consistent advocate for fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Congress promised to shoulder 40 percent of each state’s “excess cost” of educating children with disabilities, but it has never lived up to this obligation. Currently, the federal government provides less than half of the promised funding (17 percent). Children are being shortchanged, and their parents are forced to fight with cash-strapped school districts to get the free and appropriate education the IDEA promises their children. Fully funding IDEA will provide students with disabilities the public education they have a right to, and school districts will be able to provide services without cutting into their general education budgets. In addition to fully funding IDEA Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the Act.

Mr. Obama provided a big boost to IDEA funding, for one year. This was in the form of funding from the economic stimulus plan. Unfortunately, since this was a one-time-only boost, schools were unable to hire additional people or otherwise spend the money in ways that would require long-term investment.

In 35 years, the Federal government has never lived up to their promised contribution to IDEA. Fully funding the federal government’s commitment to special education is long overdue. Yes, it is focused on school age children and doesn’t apply to autistic adults. But, it would make a big difference especially in these tough economic times when districts are faced with big budget problems.

One Response to “Festivus isn’t over…”


  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Festivus isn’t over… « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - January 3, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, Alltop Autism. Alltop Autism said: Festivus isn’t over… http://bit.ly/fXjv0d […]

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