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As back-to-school approaches, the amount of federal dollars to incorporate technology in the classroom — and prepare teachers to use it — is expected to rise this year. That’s good news for students with disabilities who can benefit from off-the-shelf technologies in addition to any hardware and software provided for them under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). According to The Wall Street Journal, the economic stimulus package provided $98.2 billion for everything from classroom technology, to school renovations to IDEA. Additionally, it restored $650 million in funding to The Enhancing Education Through Technology program that was authorized in 2002 as part of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. However, local officials say it’s still not nearly enough to make up for several years of cutbacks, which has affected peripheral studies, such as music and art. But for the required classes, such as reading and history, the boost in technology ... keep reading »
The Supreme Court will soon decide on a high-profile case that centers around the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and will have implications for families of children with special needs and school districts across the country. In Forest Grove School District v. T.A., the parents of an Oregon high-school student, who is identified only as T.A., sought reimbursement for his $5,200-a-month private-school education, which they said was necessary after T.A. was found ineligible for special-education services. Under IDEA, disabled children are entitled to a “free appropriate public education” if they qualify. The law allows parents to seek public financing for private school if the public schools cannot adequately serve their children. While most of the nation’s six million special-education students attend public school, almost 90,000 students are in private placements — most of them with their public school’s agreement. The court must decide whether parents who unilaterally place their child in private school, ... keep reading »

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