News sources around the US are abuzz with how state and local education agencies will spend the influx of funds for special education that comes with the US government’s increases in IDEA funding under the stimulus plan.
- Schools getting stimulus aid, but is it too late? from AZ Central.com
- Schools’ stimulus a puzzle from the Daily Tribune – Columbia, MO
- State schools to get $118M from the News Sentinel – Knoxville, TN
- A boost for poor, special-needs kids from the Star Tribune – Minneapolis, MN
- Berkeley Unified Will Receive $2.4 Million in Stimulus Funds Next Month from the Daily Planet – Berkeley, CA
Given that these funds may be pretty fleeting (here today, gone in a couple of years?), how wise is it to invest in more teachers whom the LEAs will have to dismiss or materials that are likely to need replacement in just a few years? I’d say, “NOT!”
Why not invest in staff development, using the two-year span to ensure that virtually all teachers know how to measure progress in easy-but-rigorous ways (e.g., curriculum-based measurement), implement school-wide discipline programs, and present lessons in systematic and (dare I say it?) instructive ways?
Here are some relevant links: Research Institute on Progress Monitoring and Student Progress; School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports.