To the Editor:
A quick infusion of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will allow many states to continue programs for toddlers and children with disabilities, but the fate of these services beyond next year remains uncertain (“Infant-Toddler Spec. Ed. Program Gets New Life From Stimulus,” July 15, 2009).
Early-childhood programs that rely on government funds are often the only channel children with disabilities and their families have to services that foster a sense of belonging, positive social relationships, and learning opportunities that can help these children reach their full potential.
At a time when many government-funded special education programs must choose between short-term survival and long-term improvement, we must ensure that our youngest and most vulnerable citizens don’t fall through the cracks. Thank you for your continued coverage of legislation that affects special education and children with disabilities.
Pamela J. Winton
Senior Scientist and Director of Outreach
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, N.C.
A version of this article appeared in the August 12, 2009 edition of Education Week as After Stimulus Funding, Whither Early Spec. Ed.?