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Shaheen Announces Support for Legislation to Expand Funding for Students with Disabilities in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

(Washington, DC) —As the U.S. Senate prepares for a debate on additional COVID-19 relief, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced her support for legislation to increase funding for students with disabilities. The Supporting Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act appropriates $11 billion for state grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), $1.2 billion for early childhood education programs, $55 million under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, and requires recipients of funds to report to Congress how this money is spent. The legislation was introduced by Senators Murphy (D-CT), Hassan (D-NH) and Van Hollen (D-MD).

“As the new school year approaches, it’s vital that schools have the resources they need to reopen safely and ensure the health and well-being of students always comes first. This is especially important for our kids living with disabilities, who face even more precarious health concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Shaheen. “This legislation would provide our communities with the funding they need to take every precaution necessary to create a safe learning space for students and staff. Fighting through this crisis means we must implement careful and thorough protocols to keep people safe as we resume normal operations. That is precisely what this legislation will help us do.” 

The Supporting Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act has been endorsed by:

  • AASA, The School Superintendents Association 
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs
  • American Federation of State. County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 
  • American Federation of Teachers 
  • American Music Therapy Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association 
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 
  • Association of Educational Service Agencies 
  • Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) 
  • Autism Society of America 
  • Autism Speaks
  • Council of Administrators of Special Education 
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates  
  • Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
  • Learning Disabilities Association of America
  • National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel 
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals 
  • National Association of School Psychologists National Association of Secondary School Principals 
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) 
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities  
  • National Disability Rights Network
  • National Down Syndrome Congress 
  • National PTA 
  • National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium 
  • National Rural Education Association 
  • Special Olympics International
  • The Arc of the United States
  • The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Education Taskforce

The Supporting Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act is also co-sponsored by: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).