A federal judge on Monday granted preliminary approval of the settlement of a 26-year old special education lawsuit in Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reports. The settlement would end court oversight in July and end the lawsuit by September 2012, if certain requirements are met. The state will continue to actively monitor the school system's progress until the lawsuit ends, the story said. The lawsuit, filed in 1984 on behalf of a city student known as "Vaughn G," accused Baltimore public schools of denying essential services to special education students. Education Week ran a story on the settlement here. The Sun ...


Gifted high school students in Idaho could receive scholarships to attend college early, in a proposed law that has recently passed the state's House of Representatives and awaits approval by the state Senate, the Associated Press reported. The law would allow students to graduate from high school up to three years early, and then receive taxpayer money to attend a state university or community college, the article said. Idaho would join a trend of states letting gifted students move on to college earlier. Eight other states allow high school sophomores who pass certain tests to graduate early. A Utah lawmaker ...


The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late this afternoon that would for the first time federally regulate the use of restraint and seclusion on students in schools, and require any use of such practices to be reported to parents. The bill, known as Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, passed by a vote of 262-153. The law would establish the first federal safety standards in schools for the use of restraint and seclusion, similar to rules in place in hospitals and nonmedical, community-based facilities. Regulations on the practices of restraint and seclusion vary from state ...


The U.S. Department of Education has posted on its Web site this week a summary of state laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines regarding the use of restraint and seclusion techniques in schools. The education department researched and compiled the information after U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had issued a letter to chief state school officers on July 31, 2009, urging a review of current state policies. "Restraint and seclusion policies should be reviewed regularly to prevent the abuse of such techniques and ensure that schools provide a safe learning environment for all of our children," Duncan said ...


The training is designed to help districts meet new state regulations for teachers who work with students with autism spectrum disorders.


The comments were made at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.


The focus will be on students who are gifted and have disabilities.


President Obama's recently released budget proposes consolidating the only federally funded gifted education program with two other programs, a move that advocates fear will put its continued funding in jeopardy. The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Program, which includes the National Research Center for Gifted and Talented Education and demonstration grants that support identifying and nurturing underprivileged gifted children, would be merged with the Advanced Placement Program and the High School Graduation Initiative. Together, they would become known as the College Pathways and Accelerated Learning Fund. "This budget fails to include any specifics to directly meet the needs ...


Under changes proposed this week to psychiatry's diagnostic manual, Asperger's syndrome would no longer be a separate diagnosis, and would instead be grouped into the autism-spectrum-disorders category. Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum that affects a person's ability to read social cues and communicate with others. Individuals with Asperger's may have very strong, all-consuming interests in specific topics. It became a separate diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994. Supporters of the change say the elimination of Asperger's as a separate diagnosis would avoid confusion and lead to better services. "This ...


President Obama's budget for fiscal 2011, released last week, would keep special education funding at pretty much the same level as the previous year, which disappointed advocates who had hoped the administration would provide "full funding" of the law. "The Council for Exceptional Children commends the president for sending the nation a clear signal that he is serious about education," Deborah Ziegler, the associate executive director for policy and advocacy at CEC, an advocacy group for special educators, said in a written statement. "But we are disheartened to see the president did not use this opportunity to fulfill his campaign ...


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