The Oregon Alliance for Early Intervention is an advocacy organization that brings together families with Early Intervention & Early Childhood Special Education professionals from across the state interested in ensuring that adequate funding is available so young children with learning challenges have access to the level of EI/ECSE services they need to be prepared for kindergarten success.

Rallying Support for EI/ECSE Funding in the 
2019 Legislative Session
 
Every child deserves support to be ready to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education provides this support for children experiencing delays and their families.

The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session is underway and there is momentum building in the Capitol to fully fund EI/ECSE Services. The session began with increased EI/ECSE funding in the Governor's proposed budget and now the focus is helping legislators understand the importance fully funding these vital services for young children.
  
Last week the  Joint Committee Ways and Means Education Subcommittee heard testimony at an informational hearing about the need for more EI/ECSE funding in the  Department of Education's  Grant in Aid budget. 

And next week there will be an important opportunity for parents and early education providers to provide public testimony!  

Here's how parents can help support the advocacy effort that could directly impact their child's early education services:

 We are trying to reach  parents who could share their story about how EI/ECSE has positively impacted their child's life and how their futures are better because of EI/ECSE in any of the following ways:
  • Email one to two paragraphs about how EI/ECSE has helped your child and family to the Alliance and include a photo of your child that we can share with legislators on your behalf.
  • Take a quick 30-60 second video of you sharing an example of how EI/ECSE has brightened your child and family's future and email it us so we can send it to key legislators.
  • Let us know if you are planning to come to the Capitol to participate in the upcoming EI/ECSE Advocacy Day on March 5th any time between 10AM and 2PM. We will be there to help you connect with legislators and are partnering with the GO! Project to offer a free legislative advocacy training at 11AM.
  • Tell us if you would like to share your story in an important legislative hearing the morning of March 6th. We can help you prepare to testify and can access resources to help you get there! 
Email the Alliance for Early Intervention at ocddaei@gmail.com  and be sure to include your name and contact information.

The Alliance has an advocacy team experienced at supporting families in legislative advocacy, and have training, direct coaching and facilitated video chat sessions available to any family who wants to share their story with legislators. 

Legislators Announce State Budget 
Town Hall Meeting Road Show

The Ways and Means Committee will begin traveling the state to hear from Oregonians. This is a great opportunity to show support for 
EI/ECSE Services:
  • Coos Bay: Saturday, March 9, 1:00-3:00PM at Marshfield High School,Auditorium, 972 Ingersoll Ave.
  • Pendleton: Friday, March 15, 5:30-7:30PM at Blue Mountain Community College, Pioneer Hall, Bob Clapp Theatre, 2411 NW Carden Ave.
  • Redmond: Saturday, March 16, 2:00-4:00PM at Deschutes County Fair Expo Center, Three Sisters Conference and Convention Center (South Sister), 3800 SW Airport Way
  • Portland: Thursday, March 21, 5:30-7:30PM at Portland Community College - Cascade, MAHB 104 Auditorium, 5514 N. Albina Ave.
The Committee will not have enough time to hear from everyone but please come prepared with one to two minutes of remarks about the importance of fully funding EI/ECSE. Arrive at least an hour early to sign 
in and look for advocates wearing yellow representing the Oregon Developmental Disability Coalition's GO! Project Welcome Wagon Team!    

Another Important Early Childhood
Advocacy Opportunity

On  April 9 , early childhood advocates and families from across Oregon are gathering in Salem to ask policy makers to prioritize young children and their families in budget and policy decisions. Our partners at the Early Childhood Coalition are hosting this Advocacy Day and are providing the following support to registered participants:
  • Support in scheduling conversations with legislators
  • Advocacy training in advance of the meetings 
  • Provide lunch in assigned meeting rooms at the Capitol.  
Proposed Cuts to Regional Programs

The Alliance for Early Intervention is concerned about the proposed 
$6.2M cut to regional programs in the Governor's Recommended Budget.  Regional programs serve over 10,000 students a year in Oregon who experience disabilities such as  Autism Spectrum Disorder,  Deafness,  Blindness, O rthopedic Impairments and  Traumatic Brain Injury.  There are eight regional programs providing educational supports through Education Services Districts (ESDs) across the state. 
This reduction would amount to an almost 20% funding reduction to each regional program.  A reduction in funding means a significant reduction in services for students with low incidence disabilities. Regional programs anticipate having to lay off staff and increase caseloads of the staff that remain. Across Oregon, this reduction is likely to result in a loss of over 40 FTE in specialized staff that includes  Autism Specialists,  Occupational Therapists,  Physical Therapists and  Speech Language Pathologists. 
This proposed reduction would also mean that s chool districts and EI/ECSE programs will be responsible to fill the gap in services from regional programs to provide a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) for students with low incidence disabilities.  

Let legislators know that EI/ECSE cannot afford any reduction in regional programs funding!

Parent Voices Needed on Local Councils 

Local Interagency Coordinating Councils are required by state law to "advise and assist" EI/ECSE Contractors on identification of service needs, coordination of service with other agency services, procedures for resolving local disputes, and development of local interagency agreements.  The LICC is intended to provide forums to gather input from and exchange information with important stakeholders on decisions about EI/ECSE services.  If you are interested in helping to guide the direction of EI/ECSE Services in your region, contact the Chair of your Local Interagency Coordinating Council and ask how you can get involved.

Regional Family Networks 

Learn about and connect with a Regional Family Network Near You: 

Advocacy Tools
  Access these tools to support your EI/ECSE Advocacy efforts: 
JOIN THE ALLIANCE
Parents of young children with developmental delays,  early childhood educators and advocates are invited to  "JOIN THE ALLIANCE" to 
stay informed about issues relating to Early Intervention and 
Early Childhood Special Education Services in Oregon. 
Join The Alliance at  http://bit.ly/2H6x2bF

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Families and Early Childhood Educators 
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