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Friday, September 28, 2012

Steep Cuts To Special Education, Disability Programs Loom

From DisabilityScoop.com

"The cuts would be deeply destructive and reductions to education spending would mean that children with disabilities would suffer.”

By Michelle Diament
September 17, 2012

The White House is warning that special education will face more than $1 billion in cuts and millions more will be trimmed from other federal programs for people with disabilities next year unless lawmakers act.

In a report sent to Congress, the Obama administration painted a stark picture of what’s to come, detailing the impact of more than $100 billion in automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect January 2, 2013.

The funding reductions were triggered after lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal last year. As a result, most federal programs will be slashed by at least 8.2 percent.

That means that more than $1 billion will be chopped from special education, the White House said. Meanwhile, housing for people with disabilities will be reduced by $14 million and the U.S. Department of Labor’s office focusing on disability employment will be cut by $3 million.

Research into developmental disabilities could also be impacted, with the National Institutes of Health facing a $2.5 billion loss.

Social Security and Medicaid, however, are expected to remain largely unaffected.

The 394-page White House report said the cuts would be “deeply destructive” and indicated that the reductions to education spending would mean that “children with disabilities would suffer.”

While concern about the scheduled spending reductions is widespread, it’s not likely that Congress will take any action until after the November election.

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