AN INCLUSIVE VISION FOR EDUCATING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES BY TROY FLINT Special education, often on the margins of conversations about public schools, was thrust into the national spotlight on the afternoon of January 17, 2017. This brief, inglorious moment came courtesy of the confirmation hearings for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. When the nominee was asked whether all schools that receive federal funds should be subject to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, DeVos said— twice—“I think that is a matter that is best left to the states.” That response misrepresented IDEA’s status as a federal law that is not subject to negotiation by the states. Although DeVos is hardly the only administrator to exhibit a less than complete grasp of special education, she’s by far the most significant one, and her misstep startled many in the special education community. “People are worried because they don’t know what’s going to happen; what changes are coming down the pike. People are really concerned with Betsy DeVos’ lack of knowledge — everyone involved in special education was appalled,” said Maureen Burness, co-executive director of California’s Statewide Special Education Task Force and former Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Director for the Folsom-Cordova School District.