WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) led colleagues in introducing a bill to restore full funding for educational and early-intervention services for children who experience disabilities. She was joined by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), as well as Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), and Rodney Davis (R-IL).
“For children who experience disabilities, early intervention is critical to give them the tools and resources that they need to succeed as they grow,” said Senator Hassan. “Yet, the current funding does not meet the demand from families across the country who are struggling to access these resources. Closing this funding gap is about making sure that all infants and toddlers are fully included and thrive.”
Children and families’ need for early intervention and pre-school special education services has only increased over the past several decades. However, federal investments have not kept pace with the number of students requiring these services. Programs through the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act that assist states with early intervention services for children with disabilities under five are critical to their social development and school readiness. Despite high demand for the services these programs provide, these programs are woefully underfunded. Senator Hassan’s Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act would assist states in providing this critical support by funding these programs.
Senator Hassan is leading efforts to ensure that individuals who experience disabilities receive the support that they need to be fully included in their communities. Senator Hassan successfully secured nearly $3 billion in dedicated federal funding to support students with disabilities in the American Rescue Plan. Additionally, Senator Hassan joined in introducing legislation to help ease the transition from high school to college for students with disabilities. Last November, she also joined the rest of the delegation in announcing nearly $9 million to strengthen New Hampshire’s early childhood education system, and earlier that year the delegation announced $405,000 through the American Rescue Plan for Head Start programs.