Friday, January 23, 2009

Senate Bill 5373 Washington State

Residents of WA need to be very concerned about this bill. The government wants to have the last word in what services your child receives, if you have a child with special needs. Who will determine what a special need is? Will they create "new" special needs? Will our child be considered special needs if we home school them? Birth them at home? Don't get immunizations? Will our children be taken from us if we don't comply? I see more home births and less doctors visits from parents for fear that they will find something wrong with their child and get the government involved. As parents, our rights are slowly being taken away and they will continue unless we step up and do something. We need to stay on top of this one. But in view of what President Obama wants to do this is not surprising. (see the quote from the White House agenda at the end of this article).

Introduced by Sen. Claudia Kauffman, (D-Kent) (D) on January 21, 2009, identifies the need for state funded early intervention services for infants and toddlers identified as developmentally disabled. Recommends coordinating all federal, state and local resources to include education, health and social services to support the implementation of individualized family service plans. Places authority for implementation of services under the department of social and health services and directs appropriate funding to that department. Creates a caseload forecast council to be appointed by the governor and cites this act as the infant toddler equity act. (See also Companion SB 5373) .

From the White House web site:
Zero to Five Plan: The Obama-Biden comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, the Obama-Biden plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama and Biden will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state Zero to Five efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.
Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama and Biden will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding, and improve quality for both.

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