2:22 PM EDT

Mazie Hirono, D-HI 2nd

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 284) recognizing the work and importance of special education teachers, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.

The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:

H. Con. Res. 284

Whereas, in 1972, the United States Supreme Court ruled that children with disabilities have the same right to receive a quality education in the public schools as their nondisabled peers and, in 1975, the United States Congress passed Public Law 94-142 guaranteeing students with disabilities the right to a free appropriate public education;

Whereas, according to the Department of Education, approximately 6,600,000 children (roughly 13 percent of all school-aged children) receive special education services;

Whereas there are over 370,000 highly qualified special education teachers in the United States;

Whereas the work of special education teachers requires them to be able to interact and teach students with specific learning disabilities, hearing impairments, speech or language impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments;

Whereas special education teachers are dedicated, possess the ability to understand a diverse group of students' needs, and have the capacity to be innovative in their teaching methods for their unique group of students and understanding of the differences of the children in their care;

Whereas special education teachers must have the ability to interact and coordinate with a child's parents or legal guardians, social workers, school psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, and school administrators, as well as other educators to provide the best quality education for their students;

Whereas special education teachers help to develop an individualized education program for every special education student based on the student's needs and abilities; and

Whereas these unique individuals dedicate themselves so special education students are prepared for daily life after graduation: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress--

(1) recognizes the amount of work it requires to be a special education teacher; and

(2) commends special education teachers for their sacrifice and dedication while providing the quality life skills to individuals with special needs.

2:22 PM EDT

Mazie Hirono, D-HI 2nd

Ms. HIRONO. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Concurrent Resolution 284, which recognizes the work and importance of special education teachers in our public education system. They serve a unique role in our country's schools, and their hard work equips students with disabilities with high-quality instruction and important lifelong skills.

The historic ruling in Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia ruled that all students with disabilities must be offered a public education regardless of the cost, and it was critical in setting the stage for our current special education system. Today, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act upholds this legacy by working to ensure the education of all students with disabilities. It is important for us to continue working towards equal access to education for more than

6.6 million American students.

More than 370,000 dedicated, hardworking, and highly professional special education teachers currently serve our Nation's students. These teachers educate students with many different disabilities, helping those with learning disabilities, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injuries, hearing, visual, speech, language or orthopaedic impairments, and other types of health impairments. Through specific training and teaching practices, special educators can help these students

learn regardless of their physical barriers.

Special educators have earned and rightfully deserve our recognition. They dedicate their time and professional careers to serving students who need specific and individual education plans not offered by a traditional education setting. Special education teachers also recognize that these students are no less deserving than any other students of a high-quality public education. For these reasons and many others, special education teachers are particularly special public servants.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Representative Sessions for introducing this resolution.

Once again, I express support for House Concurrent Resolution 284, which will recognize the immense contributions of America's special education teachers. So I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.

I reserve the balance of my time.

2:25 PM EDT

Judy Biggert, R-IL 13th

Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Concurrent Resolution 284, recognizing the work and importance of special education teachers.

Special education teachers work with children and youth who are facing a variety of disabilities. Some special education teachers work with students with severe cognitive, emotional or physical disabilities, primarily teaching them life skills and basic literacy. Many special education teachers work with children with mild to moderate disabilities, using or modifying the general education curriculum to meet a child's individual needs and providing required remedial instruction.

These gifted educators work with students who are struggling with speech or language impairments, intellectual disabilities, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and many other health impairments.

Special education teachers design and teach appropriate curricula, assign work geared toward each student's needs and abilities, and, of course, grade papers and homework assignments. They are involved in a student's behavioral, social and academic development, helping each student to develop emotionally and to interact effectively in social situations. Preparing special education students for [Page: H4883]

daily life after graduation is also an important aspect of

the job.

Special education teachers help general educators adapt curriculum materials and teaching techniques to meet the needs of students with disabilities. They coordinate the work of teachers, teacher assistants and related personnel, such as therapists and social workers, to meet the individualized needs of the student within inclusive special education programs.

Whether teaching a class of special education students or working with individual students in a general classroom, special education teachers ensure that all students have access to a quality education. Today, we salute them for their commitment and dedication.

I support this resolution, and I ask my colleagues to do the same.

I yield back the balance of my time.