[Update 2/7/09 – If you came to this post directly from Google or somewhere else, go read the latest update.]
I’m dumbstruck by this, but I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.
A group of Senators from both parties has been working to reduce the size of the Stimulus Package by $100 billion dollars. Not surprisingly, the biggest chunk of that is coming from special education, school infrastructure improvements, Head Start, disabilities services funding, and related areas. IDEA funds are currently being cut in half from the proposed original amount. Much of the rest is completely gutted.
It looks almost certain this ‘compromise’ is going to be part of the final Senate bill.
We have two hopes here. First, The Arc has put out the alert and provided a tool by which to contact your Senators. Go to their Action Alert page, type in your zip code, and you can find out how to call from there. It’s too late in the game for writing now. You gotta call. They will most likely be voting on this today or this weekend.
Our only other hope is that because the House version and the Senate version of this legislation aren’t the same, this will likely end up in a conference committee of the two branches of Congress. Here they can hash out the differences before it’s sent to the President, which means funding could be restored since it’s in the House version. I don’t understand all the rules and semantics of conference committees, but there is still hope there.
I don’t know what to say beyond that. Get busy people. As usual, it’s up to us.