Jan 9, 2020, Disability Scoop: Congress Hands Special Ed Hefty Funding Boost https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2020/01/09/congress-hands-special-ed-hefty-funding-boost/27623/ Federal funding for special education will rise the most it has in years under a newly approved government spending plan. The increase comes as part of a $1.4 trillion package signed late last year by President Donald Trump that will fund the federal government through the end of September…. The measure includes level funding or increases for most programs that people with disabilities rely on, advocates said. But special education is a big winner with a $400 million rise over last year. That’s the largest increase the program has seen since 2016, according to Annie Acosta, director of fiscal and family support policy at The Arc…. Outside of special education, funding to support respite care initiatives is up $2 million in the spending plan — a 48 percent increase — and the federal government will grow its support for vocational rehabilitation as well as a program to train professionals to screen and diagnose autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities will also see a bump…. Kim Musheno, vice president of public policy at the Autism Society of America, said it’s good to see programs maintaining support. “While we believe the federal government can and should be investing more in community-based services and supports for people with autism and other disabilities, we are pleased that the bill funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education provides at least level funding for many of the programs that support people with autism and other disabilities,” she said.