Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says that the IDEA, the special ed law, has been grossly underfunded for years. "This is righting a historical injustice, a historical wrong," Duncan said. "These have been desperately underfunded, in some cases for decades." The bill raises IDEA funding from $10.9 Billion in 2008 to $16.9 Billion in 2009 and 17.9 Billion in 2010. Here is another news link. As some commenters on this website have pointed out more money does not always translate into better, but too little money has a very bad impact on kids with disabilities. I favor this bill. Its passage doesn't mean that we are done; we must watch how the funds are spent. But if the bill does not pass, the impending budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels could have very bad consequences.
The website of the Council for Exceptional Children has further analysis and a chart comparing the House and Senate bills as well as a tool for contacting your representatives and senators. All persons who are interested in special education should immediately contact their U. S. Senators. Regardless of how you feel, please let them know. The U. S. Senate website has a handy page for contacting your senators. Democracy is pretty cool.