News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121
March 14, 2007

Senate Passes "Scooter's Bill" by Senator Zaffirini

(AUSTIN) -- The Texas Senate today (March 14) unanimously passed Senate Bill 673, known as "Scooter's Bill," by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. It would allow students with disabilities who are in individualized education programs (IEP) and who have completed four years of high school to participate in graduation ceremonies and receive attendance certificates.

"It is important that students with disabilities celebrate their accomplishments with their peers and have a sense of closure as their classmates move on and leave campus," Senator Zaffirini said. "My bill provides students in IEP programs a means to achieve this goal."

SB 673 is named "Scooter's Bill" after Gene "Scooter" Long, a Dallas IEP student who was denied participation in his class's graduation ceremonies by the Dallas Independent School District. The bill calls for a consistent policy throughout Texas. What's more, it would allow students to continue the IEP program after they participate in commencement ceremonies and would not preclude their receiving high school diplomas upon completing the program.

The bill must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Rick Perry for final approval. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free instate hotline, 1-877-824-7038.

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