Friday, January 30, 2009

Stimulus May Benefit Students with Special Needs

I have mixed feelings about the ginormous stimulus package -- similar to the way I wonder if sending $500 to every family spurs the type of spending they're intended to. On the other hand, maybe an economic crisis is what it takes to get desperately needed investment in some areas that should be priorities. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says we can't recover and succeed without investing several billion dollars in education, and about a sixth of the $819 billion stimulus package approved by the House would go toward education programs.

As a side benefit that readers of this blog will appreciate: The measure would also inject another $26 billion into No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Critics of NCLB have said it could work if it were actually funded, and of course the IDEA has been woefully underfunded.

Duncan said the money for these program would "right a huge, historic wrong," because Congress hasn't spent what it promised. "There is going to be this huge outpouring of joy because this has been a desperately unfunded mandate for far too long."

What do you think? Are you feeling an "outpouring of joy"? Skepticism? Moderate, cautious, tempered optimism?
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