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Sens. Murray and Cantwell Challenge Betsy DeVos on IDEA Website Outage

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On Friday, Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) sent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos a letter asking why the website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is no longer available.

Betsy DeVos had a contentious nomination process with educators, lawmakers and parents opposing her nomination due to her lack of education credentials and limited knowledge regarding IDEA, a federal law ensuring children with disabilities receive the services they need.

The senators’ letter states:

We are deeply concerned that prior to your confirmation and arrival at the Department the centralized resource website for the IDEA became inaccessible to the public for more than a week, and is now redirecting people to a site for the Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”). The OSEP website lacks much of the information previously available.

The Department’s failure to keep this critical resource operational makes it harder for parents, educators, and administrators to find the resources they need to implement this federal law and protect the rights of children with disabilities.

In addition to asking for a “detailed explanation” regarding the website’s current outage, Murray and Cantwell ask DeVos to promise she won’t strip the website and will release a detailed explanation to parents as to why the site went down and future plans to incorporate IDEA information into other departmental websites. The senators added:

Given your past statements about the IDEA before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the fact the website has been unavailable for an extended period of time, we are certain you are just as anxious as we are that these resources be quickly restored.

As of Tuesday, the website is still down with no response from DeVos or her office.

Originally published: February 14, 2017
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