An Update on the Plans for Special Education Spending
It may become harder to keep up with all of the proposals floating around about what to do with the federal budget, but my colleagues here at Education Week are managing to keep things straight.
The big news so far (which could presumably change at any moment) is that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to restore the $557.7 million cut to special education state grants in the fiscal year 2011 spending bill they are considering. This is the bill that would finance the government through Sept. 30 and overall, still cuts nearly $5 billion from the education budget. This would keep special education spending at $11.5 billion.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash, whose 3-year-old son, Cole, has Down syndrome, restored the money through an amendment. But to make up for restoring the special ed money, Rep. Rodgers' amendment also cuts $336 million out of the $545.6 million Title I School Improvement Grant program, and $500 million out of the $2.95 billion Improving Teacher Quality State Grant program. You can get details from the Politics K-12 blog, which will have the latest information the budget as it happens.
In an unrelated in-case-you-missed-it nugget, my colleague Sarah D. Sparks at Inside School Research blog, just wrote about a study that has found new ways to identify ADHD. Sarah writes that the research found that children with ADHD show lower ability to control voluntary and involuntary muscle movements than children without ADHD. The findings provide more evidence for the neurological cause of the disorder, and may also provide the first objective way to predict the severity of a child's symptoms, which could lead to more accurate identification and treatment for ADHD, the most commonly diagnosed child behavioral disorder."