April 15, 2011  
HB 1329 and SB 1656
Passed Through One Round of Committees!
We Will Need Your Help Again Soon!
SENATE BILL 1656: Thanks to all who made calls to the Senate President's office on Monday encouraging him to make sure Senate Bill 1656 was placed on the agenda.  Your calls did make a difference! SB 1656 was placed on the agenda and heard by the Senate Education Committee yesterday. Senator Wise is sponsoring the bill and has worked diligently to have it heard.

It was passed by the committee! It will go to the Budget Committee next, probably after Easter.  If it passes there, it will go to the Senate floor.

Members of The Coalition, Steve Hicks and Robyn Rennick, were there to support the bill and Dr. Patricia Hardman spoke in front of the committee.

HOUSE BILL 1329:  On Wednesday, HB 1329 was heard by the Education Committee. Robyn Rennick and Dr. Patricia Hardman, among others, spoke to the bill.  Representative Bileca is the sponsor of the bill.  He has been outstanding in his presentation and debate of the bill's merits.

It passed the last House committee on Wednesday and will be voted on by the entire House as the final step.
The Battle Is Just Beginning
Both of these bills will allow students with disabilities who only have a 504 Plan access to the McKay Scholarship.  As we all know from contacts with parents, the process for obtaining an IEP is extremely lengthy and difficult.  Many schools are simply not testing.  Many children who would have received an IEP 4 years ago are not being identified and/or their parents are only able to have them placed on a 504 Plan. Attached you will find the latest Senate Bill.  The language is identical to the House Bill.

Opposition for expanding the McKay Scholarship is beginning to be vocal. 

We will need everyone to help us call representatives and senators the day before the bill is heard on the floor.  Your calls do make a tremendous difference.

We do not know when they will be heard.  We may have no longer than a 3 day notice.  We will send you information on who to call and when as soon as they are placed on the agenda.

You can get ready to move quickly by
  1. Identifying the name, phone, email of your State Representative and Senator.
  2. Identifying parents who will call the legislators.
If every school committs to having 10 parents call the legislators, we can make a tremendous difference!

Robyn Rennick, MS
Legislative Chair

The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools
drills@talstar.com   www.mckaycoalition.com
(850) 893-2216