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Public Statements

Student Success Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HARPER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment by the gentlewoman from Washington. Like her, I am the parent of a child with special needs. My 24-year-old son Livingston has Fragile X syndrome, and we know personally the amazing progress we've made within our current educational system to help push our kids into mainstream America. I commend the gentlewoman from her leadership in making this point.

We cannot give kids with developmental disabilities the tools they need to become employed and less dependent on government services without the most appropriate education possible. And we cannot provide an appropriate education to developmentally disabled children based upon antiquated assumptions of what our kids cannot do. We have to push our special kids and the schools if they are to have a chance to meet their full potential.

There's a lot of good in this bill, and I commend and thank Chairman Kline for his efforts. I will vote for it. But I do so only because I'm confident that our concerns for special needs children will be addressed in conference.


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