Obama Budget Seeks Boost For Special Education, Autism
Funding for special education, autism research and other programs aimed at Americans with disabilities is nestled within the $3.8 trillion budget proposed Monday by President Barack Obama.
Here’s a look at the president’s proposed spending on programs serving people with developmental disabilities:
- Autism Research: $222 million to study the genetic and environmental factors leading to autism and examine how autism affects the brain. This money will also fund clinical trials of drugs and behavioral therapies designed to treat the disorder.
- Special Education: $250 million boost for special education, bringing federal grants to the states up to $11.755 billion.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: $60 million to help people with disabilities and other adults needing basic skills.
- Community Living: $103 million for a caregiver initiative designed to assist caregivers of people with disabilities and aging individuals while keeping people living in the community for as long as possible.
- Medicaid: $25.5 billion to extend a temporary increase in federal matching funds to the states for another six months. The increase was initially created under the stimulus bill.
- Housing: Just $90 million is proposed in housing assistance for people with disabilities, a sharp drop from the $300 million expected this year.
The spending on disability-related programs comes amid a 2011 budget proposal marked by talk of tamping down the country’s growing deficit, while Washington wonks work to spur economic growth and job creation. The budget proposal includes a three-year spending freeze on many government programs, not including areas like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and defense.
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“We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter,” Obama said.
Congress will consider the president’s budget proposal and likely modify it before it goes into effect. The 2011 fiscal year begins in October.
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