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EFMP Families Receive Congressional Support

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Partners in PROMISE Executive Director, Michelle Norman speaks during a round table.

Virginia has a large military and veteran population and this fact is not lost on Congress. Senator Mark Warner and Representative Elaine Luria met with military families and Virginia leadership on a Military Family and Veteran Town Hall on Wednesday, July 15th.

Executive Director, Michelle Norman represented our EFMP families, asking Senator Warner about ways in which we can help prevent learning gaps for special needs students. Increasing funding for IDEA was mentioned.

“We are going to see an uptick of disputes that are going to be coming because of the loss of instruction, particularly for those who have IEPs” said Norman.

Senator Warner’s response was positive, but realistic. “You know I support fully funding IDEA.” He continued by discussing the historic difficulty with getting full funding for IDEA and suggested instead to support special education families within the National Defense Authorization Act, “we can at least make sure these active duty families get their full funding,” said Warner.

In the era of COVID-19, with IDEA only funded .30 – .40 cents to the dollar, we expect to see negative impacts on FAPE (free and appropriate public education), an increase in due process complaints and a general feeling of being forgotten.

However, we at Partners in PROMISE are not without hope. We can share our stories, build relationships within civilian and military communities, and equip ourselves with resources. We are here for you.

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