Biden Budget Seeks Added Spending On Special Ed, Disability Programs
President Joe Biden is calling for major investments in special education, home and community-based services and other programs that people with disabilities rely on.
The requests come as part of Biden’s budget proposal, which was released Thursday. The $6.8 trillion blueprint essentially serves as a wish list, outlining how the president would like to allocate federal dollars for the 2024 fiscal year beginning in October, but it will be up to Congress to hash out a final plan.
Biden is seeking $16.8 billion — a $2.1 billion increase — in spending on special education services for students with disabilities in pre-K through high school. He also wants an extra $392 million for early intervention for infants and toddlers and an added $150 million to recruit and retain special educators.
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In addition, the budget proposal continues Biden’s push to invest in Medicaid home and community-based services to the tune of $150 billion over the next decade.
The funding would allow “individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and stay active in their communities as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers and support family caregivers,” the plan indicates.
Biden also wants to create a national program providing up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers, a move that advocates say would be a boon to families of those with developmental disabilities.
“From his historic investment in Medicaid’s home and community-based services (HCBS) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to his foundation for paid family leave and a more inclusive definition of family, people with disabilities and their caregivers would be given the equal opportunities that they deserve and have fought for decades for, leading to increased autonomy and agency to build happy lives from birth to old age,” said Julie Ward, senior executive officer of public policy at The Arc.
The budget also includes additional dollars to improve customer service at the Social Security Administration, provide housing to more people with disabilities and improve accessibility at National Parks, among other priorities.
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