Partners in Policymaking
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Letter from 2001 Graduate

... I thought about Partners very much this week, as I spent time in San Antonio at the U.S. Department of Education's (USDoED) conference named, "No Child Left Behind." I attended, since I wanted to assure that not only are our students with disabilities are not left behind, but that they are not totally left out.

I went to the USDoED's version of "Listen and Learn" sessions for the reauthorization of IDEA. There were few parents and many professional educators. The thing that made me feel most at ease was the fact that Partners, from other states, were there. We were talking the same talk. And there to walk the same walk. We even discussed building a Texas-Michigan parent coalition for the purpose of working together on the Reauthorization of IDEA.

In 2002-2003, we will be fighting a huge fight for this particular reauthorization of IDEA. ... Due process rights could be watered down significantly, if we don't all stand united, as the Partners we are, to assure that this doesn't happen. It will be a true test for of our united strengths and beliefs.

I am grateful each and every year to be a Partner (and often, each and every day of particular months), and this is the first time that I had the opportunity to witness the strength of Partners and our "partnership" at a Federal event that could have a profound impact on our students and Partners.

When people testified, they proudly announced in their opening introductions that they were Partners. It perked our ears up and we sought each other out after the testimonies were finished. We found each other. Strategized. Giggled. And some hugged, like we were long lost friends.

... Thank you to those of you that make Partners a reality. It is a comforting coalition, nationwide, and now I see how it works.

Shari Krishnan

1998 Partners Graduation Remarks

Class of 1996-97 Testimony

Comments from 1996 Partner Graduates

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