Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where Are We with Stimulus Plan Support for Special Education?

The New York Times Sunday shared the following update on the Senate stimulus plan as it addresses education:
There is slated "$79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in education aid and provide block grants; $25 billion to school districts to fund special education and the No Child Left Behind K-12 law; $14 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $400 to $5,250; $1.1 billion for Head Start."
This totals approximately $119 billion.
You can read the entire article on the "Wide Variation in House and Senate Stimulus Plans" from an online edition of the San Fransisco Chronicle.
I had shared last week in a post on special education and the new stimulus plan that there was a proposal of $150 billion for education, and that $17 billion of it would be for special education and students with disabilities. This was to be an increase from $11 billion in the past.

Based on a comparison of old with the new numbers, we are seeing a decrease in proposed funding for education in general, but an increase in funding and support for special education - a jump from $17 to $25 billion. President Obama's message to the nation last night identified education and technology in the new century classroom areas where money would be placed, but congress has yet to nail down the specifics of what the end result will actually be.
Please contact your state representatives and your sentaors to let them know how important it is to see support continue so we can meet the needs of our special needs student population.

All the best to you,

Lon Thornburg is an assistive technology specialist and professional development trainer who lives in Oregon and serves 12 districts in 7 counties. He hosts the No Limits 2 Learning Blog and The No Limits 2 Learning Live Talk Show on Blog Talk Radio. He is sharing as a contributing writer on LD LIVE!


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