Archive for March, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) appropriates significant new funding for programs under Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part B of the IDEA provides funds to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) to help them ensure that children with disabilities, including children aged three through five, have access to a free appropriate public education to meet each child’s unique needs and prepare him or her for further education, employment, and independent living.

The IDEA recovery funds under ARRA will provide an unprecedented opportunity for states, LEAs, and early intervention service providers to implement innovative strategies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youths with disabilities while stimulating the economy. Under the ARRA, the IDEA recovery funds are provided under three authorities: $11.3 billion is available under Part B Grants to States; $400 million is available under Part B Preschool Grants; and $500 million is available under Part C Grants for Infants and Families. Preliminary information about each state’s allocation is available at: http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/recovery.html. This Web site also provides information about the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) under the ARRA, which is separate from the IDEA recovery funds described in this fact sheet. This document focuses on Part B; additional information on Part C will be available shortly.

IDEA, Part B recovery funds are a key element of the ARRA principles as described below:
Overview of ARRA

Principles: The overall goals of the ARRA are to stimulate the economy in the short term and invest in education and other essential public services to ensure the long-term economic health of our nation. The success of the education part of the ARRA will depend on the shared commitment and responsibility of students, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, education boards, college presidents, state school chiefs, governors, local officials, and federal officials. Collectively, we must advance ARRA’s short-term economic goals by investing quickly, and we must support ARRA’s long-term economic goals by investing wisely, using these funds to strengthen education, drive reforms, and improve results for students from early learning through college. Four principles guide the distribution and use of ARRA funds:


Spend funds quickly to save and create jobs. ARRA funds will be distributed quickly to states, LEAs and other entities in order to avert layoffs and create jobs. States and LEAs in turn are urged to move rapidly to develop plans for using funds, consistent with the law’s reporting and accountability requirements, and to promptly begin spending funds to help drive the nation’s economic recovery.

Improve student achievement through school improvement and reform. ARRA funds should be used to improve student achievement, and help close the achievement gap. In addition, the SFSF requires progress on four reforms previously authorized under the bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the America Competes Act of 2007:

Making progress toward rigorous college- and career-ready standards and high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable for all students, including English language learners and students with disabilities;

Establishing pre-K-to college and career data systems that track progress and foster continuous improvement;

Making improvements in teacher effectiveness and in the equitable distribution of qualified teachers for all students, particularly students who are most in need;

Providing intensive support and effective interventions for the lowest-performing schools.

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The Caregivers Marketplace™ is the nation’s first cash back program for anyone who gives, gets or needs care. You can receive cash back on eligible products that are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare – no matter where you buy them. The program is free and your information is always kept confidential.

To start getting cash back, just follow these five easy steps:

1. Enroll online (to reduce the processing time for your first cash back check).
2. Print a cash back request form.
3. Purchase five or more of the same or assorted products.
4. Complete the cash back request form.
5. Send in original receipts with your completed cash back request form.

The Caregivers Marketplace
8801 West Heather Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53224

Your cash back check will arrive in the mail within 4-6 weeks. It’s that simple.


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Save the Date!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Barbara Roberts Building
500 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301

This is your opportunity to be part of the think tank and make a difference in respite care for Oregon.

The Oregon Lifespan Respite Care Program will host a lunch and workday for key stakeholders. We will:
· Explore possibilities for enhancing respite care in Oregon
· Learn about the Federal Lifespan Respite Law, and
· Develop a plan to prepare Oregon to apply for this funding.

Special Guest: Jill Kagan, Chair, National Respite Coalition, Washington, DC

Watch for a special invitation in the near future for more details and to RSVP!!

Please forward this announcement

to appropriate parties in your community.

May Martin
Lifespan Respite Care Program
Department of Human Services
Director’s Office – Governor’s Advocacy Office
500 Summer Street, NE E17
Salem, OR 97301-1097

Phone: (503) 947-2318 or (800) 442-5238
Fax: (503) 378-6532
Email: may.martin@state.or.us
Website: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/respite/

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Announcing the 2009 VSA arts Playwright Discovery Call for Scripts

The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Program invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwriting. Playwrights may write from their own experience or about an experience in the life of another person or fictional character. Young playwrights with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group or class of students.

The winning play will be professionally produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The winning playwright receives $2,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to see his or her play performed. All submissions must be received by April 15, 2009, for consideration.

For more information on VSA arts opportunities go to http://www.vsarts.org/x244.xml

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The National Early Literacy Panel recently released a report identifying critical early literacy skills that predict later literacy outcomes, and the programs and interventions that are most effective at helping children developing them. (The report also includes a guide for practitioners to translate the research into action.) Based on a review of existing research, the panel found six early literacy skills that are critical for young children to develop during the first five years of their lives:
* Knowledge of letters and their sounds;
* Ability to detect and manipulate sounds and syllables within a word (phonological awareness);
* Ability to name letters and digits;
* Ability to name objects and colors;
* Ability to write letters or one’s own name; and
* Ability to remember spoken information for a short period of time.

The panel also found a second tier of skills that had more moderate association with later reading and writing ability, such as oral language and understanding the conventions of print and stories. Of the five types of interventions examined in the existing research, “code-focused interventions” – those designed to increase children’s proficiency in identifying and manipulating letters, sounds, and syllables – had the strongest relationship with the six critical early literacy skills. The other interventions, which included shared reading programs, parent/home programs and pre-k programs, had stronger relationships with the second-tier early literacy skills.

This report http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/NELP/NELPreport.html suggests that a more intentional focus on alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness in early education programs may improve later literacy outcomes.

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