“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
— Frederick Douglas
We won’t achieve anything as a community unless we ask and advocate for what we need. This month marks the start of the 116th Congress and a new opportunity for NCLD to speak out for the 1 in 5. Over the last week, 98 new members of Congress took the oath of office, which means there are 98 new opportunities to educate and advocate for issues impacting our community.
To guide our advocacy in the coming year and ensure we are intensely focused on the issues that matter most for students and families, NCLD has developed our priorities for the 116th Congress. The aim of our advocacy is to make sure students with disabilities have access to the resources they need to succeed. Our three priorities areas are:
- Empowering Students and Families
- Early Identification and Intervention
- Strengthening & Enforcing Civil Rights Laws
As we begin the 116th Congress, it is important to take stock of what we have achieved as a community and look ahead to new challenges and opportunities the year may bring. With Democrats now in control of the House of Representatives and Republicans in control of the Senate, every piece of legislation must have bipartisan support to be enacted.
Over the last two years, Congress approved budgetary increases in several programs we care about. Those investments provided students, teachers, and communities with access to much needed resources in our public schools. We are hopeful that the 116th Congress will bring increased investment in our schools and increase funding for programs such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants to states, Head Start, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, and more.
Advocates and experts are predicting that the 116th Congress could be an exciting time for our students and families. Potential priorities for Congress include the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), unprecedented investment in school infrastructure, and legislation addressing school safety and positive school climates. NCLD will be a part of these important conversations and ensure any legislative changes consider the needs of our community. At the same time, we will actively push new and different ideas, such as building support for and passing the RISE Act and increasing funding for new areas of research.
Over the next few months, NCLD will meet with the staff in every new member of Congress’ office to ensure our priorities are heard and taken into consideration as legislation is developed. We know the road to equal access and equity may be long, challenging, and winding. However, NCLD will not rest until the 1 in 5 individuals with learning and attention issues have the resources they need to be successful.
Click here to get in touch with your member of Congress and join the movement!
Tell Congress: Pass the RISE Act
We need your help! Ask your member of Congress to support students with learning and attention issues.
Thanks to support from generous partners like you, we are able to create programs and resources to support the 1 in 5 individuals with learning and attention issues nationwide.