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Budget would fund early interventions for special ed children

LA School Report | May 18, 2015

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Edsource logoBy Jane Meredith Adams

The Statewide Special Education Task Force, which toiled for more than a year before producing a 220-page report in March, was recognized in Gov. Jerry Brown’s May revised budget with $60.1 million in proposed funding for several of its recommendations, most prominently increasing access to early interventions for children with special needs.

The revised budget calls for $50 million in ongoing funding for programs recommended by the task force, including $30 million for interventions for special needs children ages birth to 2.

Also proposed is $12.1 million for an additional 2,500 spaces in state preschool – with priority given to children with special needs. These initiatives bring young special education children into the statewide — and national — conversation about the importance of early learning, said Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education and one of the leaders of the task force, which was charged with proposing improvements to special education in California

“It’s a new policy direction,” Kirst said. “Most of the discussion about birth-to-5 and early education has not featured these most vulnerable children.”

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