Hands off ADRS Funding

Governor Bentley’s proposed budget for 2016 is coming after the neediest of those among us: our special education children.

Bentley’s 2016 budget calls for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation to be moved from the Education Trust Fund into the General Fund making the neediest of our state, community and neighborhoods fight for funding with our prisons. In Alabama, we have long recognized the importance of securing our funding for education; now Governor Bentley is looking to remove those protections from a group of people who often are unable to speak for themselves. 

This is wrong.

Rehabilitation Services Budget

Perhaps you are unaware of the services that the Department of Rehabilitation Services offers to Alabama. You might be assuming that it has to do with simply offering rehab to someone who has been injured in some way. ADRS is perhaps best described as a seamless system of service delivery to children and adults with disabilities.

Do you think it is a good idea that children with disabilities receive early intervention? My family certainly did when my son was diagnosed with Autism. Early intervention provided us with tons of assistance in helping our son learn to talk and helping us learn to manage his meltdowns.

Or how about helping children receive speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy? Children’s Rehabilitation Service covers all of those and more to make sure children can be successful in school and life.

Do you think we should help those who are blind, deaf, those with Down Syndrome or on the Autism Spectrum find meaningful and appropriate places of employment so that they may find their own way of contributing to our society? ADRS does all of this and more.

Since 1994, ADRS has been a part of the Education Trust Fund for one simple reason: they work to educate and assist almost 50,000 Alabamians in “achieving their maximum potential.” 97% of ADRS’s funding comes from the US Department of Education. 

ADRS is, without debate, a system of educational services. 

Bentley, following the advice of Willie Sutton, wishes to remove ADRS from the Education Trust Fund simply because, “that’s where the money is.”

We need to contact our representatives and let them know that we do not support this change.

Please consider writing and/or calling your representative to let them know that you believe moving the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services out of the Education Trust Fund and into the General Fund would harm our kids. While you’re speaking with them suggest that they should actually increase the budget by a mere $1.6 million in FY2017. Doing so will allow Alabama to qualify for almost $10 million more in Federal funds. What else offers a return of that size? 

My boy says thank you.

Area Legislators 

District 6 – Representative Phil Williams

P.O. Box 11894
Huntsville, AL 35814
334-242-7704 (Montgomery)

District 10 – Representative Mike Ball

105 Canterbury Circle
Madison, AL 35758
334-242-7683 (Montgomery)

District 19 – Representative Laura Hall

P.O. Box 3367
Huntsville, AL 35810
334-242-7688 (Montgomery)

District 20 – Representative Howard Sanderford

P.O. Box 16023
Huntsville, AL 35802
334-242-4368 (Montgomery)

District 21 – Jim Patterson

P.O. Box 286
Meridianville, AL 35759
334-242-7531 (Montgomery)

District 22 – Ritchie Whorton


District 25 – Representative Mac McCutcheon

726 Madison Street
Huntsville, AL. 35801
334-242-7705 (Montgomery)

Senator Bill Hotlzclaw

Senate District 2 (Madison and Limestone County)
P.O. Box 1801
Madison, AL 35758
334-242-7854 (Montgomery)

Senator Arthur Orr

Senate District 3 (Madison, and Morgan and Limestone County)
P.O. Box 305
Decatur, AL 35602
334-242-7891 (Montgomery)

Senator Paul Sanford

Senate District 7
Madison County
726 Madison Street
Huntsville, AL 35801

Senator Steve Livingston

Senate District 8
Madison County, Jackson and Dekalb County
P.O. Box 8
Scottsboro, AL 35768

Senator Clay Scofield

Senate District 9
Madison and Marshall County
412-A Gunter Avenue
Guntersville, AL 35976

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.