National school board leader at KASB workshops to improve federal special education law

KASB’s August workshops on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will offer attendees the chance to work with a national expert on K-12 education. 

Chip Slaven is the new Chief Advocacy Officer for the National School Boards Association. Slaven will attend each of the workshops, scheduled for Aug. 27-29 in Topeka, Dodge City and Salina, respectively, to meet KASB members and allies and discuss a nationwide effort to modernize and fully fund the federal special education law.  

The campaign, entitled, “It’s Time for a Great IDEA!” is designed to help school board members and others acknowledge the 1975 law’s successes and advocate for changes that could help the law better serve students in Kansas and across the nation. 

With more than two decades of experience advocating for public education, implementing national grassroots campaigns, and building bipartisan support, Slaven joined the NSBA team in June to strengthen NSBA’s ability to generate policies that enhance public education and provide all schoolchildren with an opportunity to receive a quality and equitable education.  

Slaven leads NSBA’s Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. The team of government relations professionals works on a range of financial, social and technical issues important to K-12 education. He will also head the efforts of the National School Boards Action Center, NSBA’s national grassroots organization, and the Center for Public Education, NSBA’s research think tank, which examines issues impacting public education.

When IDEA was enacted in 1975, Congress pledged to pay for 40 percent of the cost of educating children with disabilities. Actual funding, however, has never exceeded the current 16 percent level. 

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, has introduced bipartisan legislation to phase in full funding of the law over the next 10 years and a partner bill has been introduced in the U.S. House. Roberts, who will retire in 2020, has said he wants to see IDEA fully funded before he leaves office. Roberts’ record of bipartisan success on major legislation such as the Farm Bill offers what many D.C observers feel is the best chance in many years to fully fund the law.  

You can register for one of the three identical “IDEA Reauthorization and Special Education” workshops, which will also offer unique insights from KASB’s legal team and special education professionals in each region, here 

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