A U.S. Army officer urged federal lawmakers this month to ensure that military dependents are included in federal programs for disabled infants and preschoolers.
Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Select Education, Lieut. Col. F. Christian Sautter said disabled children of military families often do not get the same educational services and protection against discrimination guaranteed all other handicapped children under federal special-education law.
"The military has always prided itself with being able to take care of its own, but families with disabled children have found that they are often better provided for when they live in the civilian sector," said Colonel Sautter, who is suing the federal government over the educational lacement of his son, who has cerebral palsy. (See Education Week, May 30, 1990.)
The colonel's testimony came during hearings this month on the reauthorization of the federal program for handicapped infants and toddlers, known as Part H. The program, created under the 1986 amendments to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, provides strong incentives for states to create a comprehensive system for serving disabled children from birth through age 2. The hearing was the second of a two-part hearing on the program. The subcommittee also heard from other parents, academicians, and a wide range of special- and general-education groups. Witnesses urged panel members to extend deadlines for states' participation in the new program.3
Senator Edward M. Kennedy last week called for a system of "Social Security for children."
Mr. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, proposed federal and state funding increases of $10 billion annually for health care for expectant mothers and newborns, childhood immunization and nutrition, child care, and the Head Start program.
These programs, he said, should be administered in a "one-stop shopping" model to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.
The Citizens' Commission on L Civil Rights, a bipartisan panel of 14 former federal officials, has given the Bush Administration L mixed reviews for its education performance.
The report, entitled "Lost Opportu nities: The Civil Rights Record of the Bush Administration Mid-Term," re views the Administration's policies, including actions of the Justice De partment and the Education Depart ment's office for civil rights.3
The report is available from the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights, 2000 M St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; (202) 659-5565.