Some of the new faces at the Department of Education are DC public school students with developmental disabilities.
The East St. Louis district is in trouble because of a long history of failing to provide the expected special education services.
Parents of special needs students who successfully sue their school districts over Individual Education Programs could be reimbursed for fees paid to expert witnesses, under two bills introduced in Congress.
Special education spending falters as states and districts continue to wrestle with slimmer budgets.
A proposed law would require schools that receive federal money to report incidents of bullying to the federal government and specify whether they involved children with disabilities.
Updated: Education Secretary Vows to Move Away From 2 Percent Rule for Testing Students With Disabilities
"I just want to say, here and now, for the record, we are moving away from the 2 percent proxy rule," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "We will not issue another policy that allows districts to disguise the educational performance of 2 percent of students."
An audit by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General raised some questions about how the state spent some of its federal stimulus money, including special education funds.
A federal judge ruled that "a fair appropriate public education does not require ... the District be able to prove that a student will not face future bullying...."
Starting March 15, the only recognized service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act will be dogs, with few exceptions.