There are still lots of questions about how response-to-intervention is used, and whether it's being used correctly, considering that federal rules about identifying students with disabilities haven't changed.

What concerns the National Center for Learning Disabilities about the applications 11 states filed with the Education Department seeking waivers from the No Child Left Behind law? What they don't say.

The bill would restrict the use of restraints and seclusion in schools, requires states to document their use, and keep them out of students' IEPs.

"College is a place of independent living and learning. We do expect a certain amount of independence from our students. Students need to know they're going to a place where 12 to 15 hours a week professors teach and the rest of the learning is on your own."

It appears that a large budget cut to the National Center for Special Education Research made earlier this year won't be restored this week while Congress stitches together a 2012 budget.

"We've had now 30 years of access for students with disabilities to go school. They're coming out of that system with a different expectation: Their education should continue."

States are requiring new types of training for educators working with children who have autism, providing fresh sources of funding for private school vouchers for these students, and undertaking new studies to try to address the needs of children with autism as well as requiring insurance companies to provide coverage of one widely used autism treatment.

A state representative wants big changes to the state's program, which does not require accreditation for private schools that are eligible for the vouchers. Without curriculum regulations, the state's department of education can't get a refund, even if schools exploit the scholarships.

The federal Education Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has proposed changes to rules about Medicaid paperwork to make things easier on schools.

Disability advocates are upset that some Wisconsin school districts want to be able to cut special education spending, without being punished the way federal law requires.

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