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Your Voice Counts

New PEATC Fact Sheet
Feb 11, 2014 PEATC would like to remind you how important it is to have your voice heard! There are many opportunities in Virginia to share your story, express your opinion, and possibly change the outcomes in Virginia. We are pleased to present a new factsheet entitled, “Your Voice Counts”. It gives helpful tips and suggestions on the importance of expressing yourself and creating change.

In Virginia, there are many opportunities to have express your desire for change or even to encourage things to stay the same for students with disabilities. Below is a sample list of some opportunities:
1. The General Assembly is currently in session and are actively voting on education bills. There are more than 100 bills on education in the House and Senate! For a complete list and on-going updates to these bills, visit the VDOE website: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/legislation/

2. The State Special Education Advisory Committee (SSEAC) meets and welcomes public comment at each of its regular meetings. SSEAC members use comments from the public and other information sources to advise the Virginia Board of Education and the Virginia Department of Education of the unmet educational needs of children with disabilities in the state. Among the other information sources used by the SSEAC to identify issues and solutions are the state performance plan, annual reports, and local school division reports. For more information on the SSEAC, visit the VDOE website: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/committees_advisory/special_ed/index.shtml

3. The Virginia Board of Education welcomes public comment at their meetings. The vision of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction, in cooperation with their partners, is to create an excellent statewide system of public education that derives strength from our diversity and that ensures equality of opportunity for each student in a safe and healthy learning environment that prepares all students to be capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens in the global society. For more information on the Virginia Board of Education, visit the VDOE website: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/index.shtml

Local Special Education Advisory Committees (SEAC) Local school divisions are required by the Code of Virginia to form local SEACs made up of parents of individuals with disabilities, community volunteers and one teacher appointed by local School Boards. The primary purpose of the local SEACs is to:
• identify needs relating to the education of students with disabilities within a local school division;
• advise the local school division of these needs; and
• assist the local school division in developing priorities, plans and strategies for meeting these needs.
SEACs encourage parents to make public comment at their meetings. For more information or to find your local SEAC, visit http://www.vcu.edu/partnership/seac/

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