H.R. 3407 Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act

Posted on 24 Sep 2008 in Legislation, Special Education | Comments Off on H.R. 3407 Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act

Although the 110th session of congress is just about over, it should be noted that a bill was introduced to provide more funding for Positive Behavior Support. The stated purpose of the bills was

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow State and local educational agencies and schools to make greater use of early intervening services, particularly schoolwide positive behavior supports.

While many people applaud and support such a bill, there are some who see this as an attempt to win money for other early intervention services such as Response-to-Intervention. Some fear that the money will go to RTI instead of PBS and all the hard won efforts of PBS will have been for not. There is also the concern that RTI and other general education programs are de-categorizing special education. LD, EBD, MR, and other labels are slowly being replaced with Tier 3 service instead of specialied interventions for that particular disability.

How do you feel about that change? I’m on the fence. On one hand, inclusion brings many benefits because we know that Seperate is Not Equal (never has been, probably never will be). On the other hand, we know that general interventions for all usually equates with weak interventions and outcomes for students with specific academic and behavior problems. This is an aside to the conversation about HR 3407, but is important because the devil is in the details when talking politics and legislation. Just look at the numerous differences between IDEA laws and regulation or between the letter of IDEA law vs the practice of IDEA.

All this is a moot point for now. With only a few weeks left in congress, an election on the near horizon, and an economy in shambles with the government handing out hundreds of billions of dollars to financial experts that made bad investments (what happened to natural consequences?), there is little chance that a bill about education will go anywhere except into the shredder.

But, you can help! Call you representative and mention HR 3407 and the importance of PBS. CEC has a great  Legislative Action Center to conect you directly to your local politician.