Am I the only person who is amazed (and troubled) by the fact that our country is obsessed with a smaller pot of Race to the Top (RTTT) money–and silent on the larger pot, additional funding for special education.

Check this out.

The stimulus package’s ‘Race to the Top’ funds add up to $4.35 BILLION. Yes, that’s with a B!

Everyone is scrambling for that amount–across our country. States are turning policies inside out in order to be eligible for the race–to improve education, accountability, demonstate true reform, etc. See, for example, and today’s Education News articles at href=http://Educationnews.org> (Education News) In every corner of our land state action is on the move!

Yet, in contrast, look at the ADDITIONAL moneys in President Obama’s stimulus package for special education. That sum adds up to $12.2 BILLION–in addition to more than 80+ billions already spent. Yes, that’s with a B, also.

Yet, we have silence. Silence. For this almost three times larger dollar amount, states do NOT need to prove that they are reforming education or that student results will improve. No one is on the move. It’s more of the same in special education–justs getting bigger and bigger.

How can this be? Why is no one focused on the much larger amount?

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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