Parents of students with disabilities have filed a lawsuit against the Sumner County, Tenn., board of education, and a special education teacher who is charged with child abuse, the Associated Press reports. Donna Weidenbenner, a teacher at Station Camp Elementary, was suspended without pay in April after allegations were made against her, the story said. She was arrested and charged with three counts of child abuse in August following an investigation by the Gallatin Police Department, the story said. The lawsuit accuses Weidenbenner of abuse, including improper restraint, and force-feeding the children to the point of vomiting. The lawsuit claims ...


The National Association of Secondary School Principals is calling for changes in the reauthorization scheduled for next year.


Hawaii may have to lay off "thousands" of education department employees, if a cost-saving plan for furlough days is blocked by a federal judge, school officials said in an article in the Honolulu Advertiser. Today is the second of 17 "furlough Fridays" when schools will close in the state. A judge on Oct. 22 refused a legal request for a last-minute halt before the first furlough day. A hearing is scheduled for Nov 5. on two lawsuits filed primarily on behalf of special education students, the story said....


A new study finds that 2- to 5-year-old children diagnosed with autism and autism-spectrum disorders had blood-mercury levels similar to those of typically developing children. The study, published Oct. 19 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows mercury levels were mostly affected by the amount of fish children consumed. Those with autism and autism-spectrum disorders were less likely to consume fish, the study says. When adjusted for fish eating, the levels were about the same for both groups of children, it says. The analysis was conducted through Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment, an ongoing study to identify ...


The deal is designed to end the disparities in services across districts in Ohio.


Hawaii's plan to reduce costs by closing public schools for 17 "furlough" Fridays this year may prompt a federal class action on behalf of special education students, reports the Honolulu Advertiser. "While we are not anxious to file a lawsuit," Eric Seitz, a Honolulu lawyer, told the paper, he will go to federal court this week seeking an injunction to halt the furloughs unless the Department of Education stops the plan. The article said that parents, worried about less classroom instruction and child-care issues, have protested the furlough plan. In September, members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association ratified a ...


Teachers College, Columbia University has received a $9.75 million, five-year federal grant to prepare teachers.


The site highlights projects and initiatives that seek to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.


The U.S. Senate Monday confirmed Alexa Posny, the former Kansas education commissioner, for the role of assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. President Obama nominated Posny to the key federal post back in July. The job will mark a return to Washington for Posny. She served as director of the Education Department's office of special education in 2006-07. She has been the Kansas commissioner of education since June 2007. Updated:The confirmation was good news for special education advocates. "She understands special education research, policy and practice and she will be a proactive informed leader to the ...


About one in every 100 U.S. children has a condition on the autism spectrum, which is a higher rate than previous government estimates, according to an Oct. 5 article in the journal Pediatrics. Increased awareness about autism and better diagnostic methods may help explain this increase, the article says. A previous, 2007 estimate put the rate at one in 150 children. The new numbers stem from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, which was based on a telephone survey examining 78,037 children ages 3 to 17. Parents reported autism spectrum disorders in about 110 per 10,000 ...


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