January 26, 2007

In this Issue:

  1. OSEP Policy Letter - Parental Consent Requirements Related to Accessing Medicaid, Other Public Benefits, or Insurance
      Source: Office of Special Education Programs - January 23, 2007
  2. Grant Notice - Early Reading First Program
      Source: Federal Register: January 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 13)
  3. Two New Policy Analyses from Project Forum
      Source: Project Forum, NASDSE - January 23, 2007
  4. New Study Shows Arkansas Better Chance State Preschool Program Improves Language and Math Abilities of Children
      Source: NIEER - January 25, 2007
  5. New Report on Children's Well-Being from the U.S. Census Bureau
      Source: U.S. Census Bureau - January 24, 2007
  6. New Early Childhood Reports from the Center for Law and Social Policy
      Source: CLASP - January 26, 2007

1. OSEP Policy Letter - Parental Consent Requirements Related to Accessing Medicaid, Other Public Benefits, or Insurance

Source: Office of Special Education Programs - January 23, 2007

One question raised since the IDEA 2004 regulations were released was about the parental consent requirements related to accessing public benefits or insurance. Specifically, the question was whether separate consent must be obtained from a parent each time access to Medicaid or other public benefits is sought to pay for required special or related services. An initial letter that addresses this issue was recently sent out by Alexa Posny, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education. It is available at http://www.nectac.org/~pdfs/idea/smithltr_medicaid_01-23-07.pdf.

Additional letters addressing this and other issues will be forthcoming. For links to letters of clarification that address early childhood provisions of the IDEA (Part C and Section 619) go to http://www.nectac.org/idea/clarfctnltrs.asp

2. Grant Notice - Early Reading First Program

Source: Federal Register: January 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 13)

The following grant opportunity from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) was recently published in the Federal Register:

Title: Early Reading First Program -- CFDA# 84.359A and B
Purpose of Program: This program supports local efforts to enhance the oral language, cognitive, and early reading skills of preschool age children especially those from low-income families, through strategies, materials, and professional development that are grounded in scientifically based reading research.
Applications Available: January 22, 2007.
Deadline for Transmittal of Pre-Applications: February 21, 2007.
Deadline for Transmittal of Full Applications: May 29, 2007 for applicants invited to submit full applications only).
For complete information go to http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2007-1/012207d.html

3. Two New Policy Analyses from Project Forum

Source: Project Forum, NASDSE - January 23, 2007

The following two new policy analyses are now available on the Project Forum Web site:

4. New Study Shows Arkansas Better Chance State Preschool Program Improves Language and Math Abilities of Children

Source: NIEER - January 25, 2007

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) recently published the results of a new study of the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) state-funded preschool education program. Researchers collected data on 911 preschool and kindergarten children in the fall of 2005, testing their math, vocabulary and early literacy skills. The study found that:

  • Children attending the Arkansas program at age 4 showed gains in vocabulary that were 31 percent higher than the gains of children without the program, a particularly important outcome because this measure is indicative of general cognitive abilities and predictive of becoming a successful reader.
  • The Arkansas preschool program increased children's gains in math skills by 37 percent compared to children's growth without the program.
  • There was 116 percent increase in growth in print awareness among children enrolled compared to growth of children without the program.
To learn more and to download the full report go to http://nieer.org/docs/index.php?DocID=158

5. New Report on Children's Well-Being from the U.S. Census Bureau

Source: U.S. Census Bureau - January 24, 2007

A new report from U.S. Census Bureau examines children's well-being and their daily activities based on data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). It addresses children's living arrangements and their family's characteristics, early child care experiences, daily interaction with parents, extracurricular activities, academic experience, and parents' educational expectations. For more information and to download the report go to http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/p70-109.pdf

6. New Early Childhood Reports from the Center for Law and Social Policy

Source: CLASP - January 26, 2007

The following two new reports were recently posted on the CLASP Web site: