April 2019 Policy News Round-Up

 

New GAO Report on Special Education Evaluation Shows Variation in Eligibility Criteria Across States

A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) set out to examine the special education evaluation process. The report found variation among states in the percentage of students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). While nationwide, 13 percent of students ages 6 through 21 are served under IDEA, the percentage of students served in individual states ranged from 6.4 percent to 15.1 percent in fall 2016. The authors cite as potential contributing factors differences in states’ eligibility criteria and the difficulty of identifying and evaluating some children suspected of having disabilities.

Check out NCLD’s state snapshots to see specific information about your state.

#StandwithLD Advocacy Events Across the United States!

Earlier this spring, advocates gathered in Atlanta to speak to their legislators and raise awareness for the 1 in 5 with learning disabilities and attention issues. And on April 24, dozens of advocates went to the Colorado State Capitol to urge elected officials to be part of the solution. They asked decision makers to: help students in college access accommodations they need to succeed; increase funding for special education; and create a learning disability caucus to raise awareness. At both of these #StandwithLD advocacy events, lawmakers heard directly from their constituents about the importance of supporting students with disabilities and making sure everyone has access to equal opportunities. Read a full recap of Colorado’s and Georgia’s Days of Action on our blog in the coming days.      

Federal Appropriations: NCLD Advocates Before Congress to Increase Funding to Support Individuals With Disabilities

Meanwhile, the federal appropriations process is in full swing with lawmakers attempting to decide how to distribute federal funds. This month, NCLD advocated for more funding on behalf of individuals with learning disabilities on a wide range of issues and programs. In particular, we worked with partner organizations to urge Congress to:

  1. Raise the spending caps on health care, infrastructure, scientific research, and education programs;
  2. Increase funding to facilitate family engagement in schools and support school leaders; and
  3. Provide more money to fulfill the promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

All of these programs are critical to the success of students with disabilities and the school districts that serve them in ensuring a free appropriate public education.

 

Programs: