The Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations voted Tuesday, June 12, 2012, to provide additional funding for the IDEA and other programs that go to assisting children with disabilities.
The Labor, HHS, Education appropriations bill also includes “new language clarifying that the level of effort under part B that an LEA must meet in the year after it fails to maintain its fiscal effort is the level that it should have met in the prior year. This language clarifies congressional intent and is consistent with OSEP’s April 4, 2012, informal guidance letter on the issue.” (Page 179 of bill text)
A summary of the increases proposed in the bill is below.
Education for Individuals With Disabilities (IDEA).—The bill provides $11.678 billion, an increase of $100 million, under section 611 of part B grants to States for educating students with disabilities between the age of 3 and 21.
The bill also includes $463 million, an increase of $20 million, to support statewide systems of coordinated and early intervention services for children with disabilities two years old and younger, as well as their families. (Part C of IDEA)
Promoting School Readiness for Minors in SSI (PROMISE).—In fiscal year 2012, Congress created PROMISE, an interagency effort to improve outcomes for children, and the families of children, receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This program will encourage State-level innovations that can help young people with disabilities enter and succeed in competitive, integrated employment. The bill includes nearly $12 million and the authority to allocate unspent vocational rehabilitation State grant funds within the Department of Education for this effort, in addition to $7.2 million at SSA.
Special Education Research.—The bill includes $59.9 million, an increase of $10 million, to support research on how children and adults with disabilities learn and how best to meet their learning needs. (This increase restores half of the cut made to Special Education Research (NCSER) in 2011 – see chart at right.)
Assistive Technology.—The bill provides $37.5 million, an increase of $4.7 million, for State assistive technology programs. These programs support a range of activities to serve people with disabilities, including State financing programs, device reutilization and loan programs, and device demonstrations.