Tonight at 9pm EST, President Obama will present his State of the Union address to Congress. This speech comes several days after President Obama announced he will propose a three-year freeze on all federal funding not related to the military, veterans affairs, homeland security, and certain international programs.
Recently, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education’s (NASDSE) Project Forum released Growth Models and Students with Disabilities: Report of State Interview. Currently 15 states employ a type of growth model in their accountability assessments (North Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Texas). This policy analysis is a report of interviews with state personnel in those 15 states about the inclusion of students with disabilities in their approved growth model pilots.
The U.S. Department of Education announced that 40 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications to be considered for the first phase of the Race to the Top (RTTT) competition. The Race to the Top fund – which was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the economic stimulus package – is a $4.35 billion program intended to provide states with funding to implement reforms in education. In conjunction with the application deadline, President Obama announced his intention to include an additional $1.35 billion for an expanded version of the RTTT program which would allow local school districts to apply for funding, in addition to states, in his fiscal year 2011 budget, which will be released on February 1, 2010.
In June 2009, the United States Supreme Court decided on Forest Grove Sch. Dist. v. T.A. holding that even if students had never received special education services from a public school district they could sue the district for reimbursement of private school tuition costs, if they alleged a violation of the right to free appropriate public education (FAPE). Read more about this case in a previous CEC’s Policy Insider.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the case returned to federal district court in California to determine the appropriate amount of damages. At the end of last year, in somewhat of a surprising decision, that court denied the parents all reimbursement.