Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Rundown: Stimulus, Gaffe (Again), Problems in Canada

  • In Massachusets, Gov. Deval Patrick was set to order $290 million in federal for special education services. The state's education secretary said these funds are critical. "There are many very talented teachers in schools ... who have dedicated their careers to educating students with special needs," S. Paul Reville stated. "The announcement ... will directly support their work and improve the educational opportunities of all students."
  • Meanwehile, education officials in Connecticut see flaws in the federal stimulus aid aimed at their state. The Hartford Courant Reports, "...$243 million is targeted to special education programs or Title 1 schools, which have a high percentage of poor children. Federal rules appear to require that the money go to new initiatives, so a school system can't just backfill a general budget shortage with the money. That's why many educators fear they could be powerless to avoid regular education layoffs while at the same time having either to hire extra special education or Title 1 staff — or give back the stimulus money."
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who apparently is an international coach of the Special Olympics, defended President Obama over the gaffe that on "The Tonight Show" that caught a lot of heat last week. "I know where his heart is at. He loves the Special Olympics and he would do everything he can to help the Special Olympics. And every one of us sometimes makes a mistake by something comes out of your mouth and you say, 'Oops I wish I wouldn't have said that.' I've had many of those," Gov. Schwarzenegger said.
  • It's not yellow school buses, but the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that special needs transit buses are "rife with problems." Concerns include "accounts of drivers dropping mobility-challenged customers at the curb [and] leaving them to walk to their residence by themselves" and a "lack of driver training for handling individuals in wheelchairs."
  • Is there a kid on the bus who just can't sit in his/her seat or just fidgets so much s/he falls right out? You may know a kid with SPD (sensory processing disorder). A parent of a child with special needs explains that the disorder "causes him to engage in activities that 'feed' his need for a lot of sensory input."

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