Law regarding special ed graduation alternatives sets off debate

by Will Sentell – Louisiana’s education establishment faces a huge challenge implementing a controversial new law to make it easier for high school students to earn a high school diploma, superintendents said Thursday. “The bottom line is it is going to be a very difficult process,” said Doris Voitier, superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish […]

IDEA’s funding formula really needs an update

by Clare McCann – By the time the 113th Congress winds down, lawmakers will have passed precisely one (the Workforce Investment Act) of more than half a dozen pieces of education legislation overdue for reauthorization. Languishing on that list for the last few years has been the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which guarantees […]

New law says prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses should be followed with information to parents

by Megan Harris – Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill that requires genetic counselors and other types of health care practitioners to provide parents with educational information once the practitioner make a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The legislation became law last week thanks in large part to 11-year-old Chloe Kondrich of Upper St. Clair, who […]

Parents will get information on Down syndrome care per new passed law

by Campbell North – Ever since her birth, Chloe Kondrich has taken her family on an unexpected journey. Chloe, born with Down syndrome in 2003, has now led the family up the steps of the State Capitol. This morning in Harrisburg, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign the Down Syndrome Prenatal Education Act, otherwise […]

A lack of vision at the district level

Seattle district office.

by Kyle Stokes – Seattle Public Schools’ efforts to educate students with disabilities of all sorts are “in need of urgent, substantial and significant improvement,” according to a scathing report released Tuesday, faulting district staff from the administrative offices all the way down to individual schools. The report itself was commissioned by the district office’s special […]

Bilingual kids mistakenly placed in special education classes

By Erin Smith, Erica Moura – Even as the state braces for a wave of unaccompanied immigrant children, school systems, including Boston, are failing in assessing and educating non-English speaking students they already have. More than one in five children of immigrants who are learning English in Boston schools have been placed in special education […]

Teachers sue state over scholarship program bill

by Kathleen McGrory – The state teachers union filed a challenge to a controversial education law Wednesday, saying it violates a constitutional requirement that each law be limited to a single subject. Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 850 last month over loud objections from the union, parent groups, the NAACP and the League of […]

Autism ABA treatment coverage bill pending passage

by Georgia Parke – Advocates for autism treatment are making one last push this legislative session to require health care insurers to cover behavioral therapy. Their hopes are on Senate Bill 493, which started life in the Senate as a regulatory bill about vehicle headlights and ended up – after going through the House – […]

Charter advocates raise concerns over special ed funding review

by Christen Smith – As lawmakers hunker down for another budget season, the fate of a slew of education proposals — including the hotly-contested special education funding formula — hang in the balance. When the General Assembly recessed last month, Senate Bill 1316 was left sitting on the chamber floor amidst growing concern over the […]

Special ed grants awarded by Virginia Department of Education

by Emily Wood – Special education programs in Franklin County schools have been awarded two grants from the Virginia Department of Education to help students make the transition from school to work. The grants are intended to benefit students with high incidence disabilities, including Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), Other Health Impairments (OHI) and Emotional Disabilities […]