In this Issue:
Source: The White House - February 13, 2013
On February 13, 2013, the White House released a fact sheet providing information on President Obama's plan to significantly expand access to preschool for all 4-year-olds from moderate- and low-income families. The plan proposes that the federal government provide matching dollars to states to provide public preschool for four-year olds whose families earn up to 200 percent of the poverty level, as well as extra funds to expand public pre-kindergarten programs for middle-class families who could pay tuition on a sliding scale. The plan includes an emphasis on high quality programs, to ensure they provide the greatest benefit for children. It also proposes expanding Early Head Start and the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program for infants and toddlers. See Fact Sheet: President Obama's Plan for Early Education for all Americans.
On February 14, 2013, the President spoke about his plan in Decatur, GA, explaining why he believes high-quality preschool is the best bang for our education bucks.
Source: U.S. Department of Education - February 14, 2013
On February 14, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations related to parental consent for the use of public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to pay for services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities program. The regulations are effective on March 18, 2013. The new regulations amend the Department's regulations in 34 CFR §300.154(d)(2)(iv), which were published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2006. The prior regulations required the public agency responsible for providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to a child with a disability under the IDEA to obtain parental consent each time access to public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) was sought. The new regulations have two basic requirements:
For additional information see the Department's IDEA Part B Final Regulations on Parental Consent Web page, which includes a one-page summary, as well as a Q&A with non-regulatory guidance on the new regulations.
Source: Division for Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children - February 12, 2013
On February 12, 2013, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the National Head Start Association (NHSA) announced the release of their jointly-developed paper, Frameworks for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood: Description and Implications (2013). The joint paper was developed to: (1) provide clarification and guidance on the relationship of RTI frameworks to the unique context of early childhood programs serving children from birth until school entry; (2) help to dispel misunderstandings and misconceptions related to RTI in early childhood; and (3) promote a broader understanding and discussion of the topic.
Source: Foundation of Child Development - Retrieved February 12, 2013
The Foundation of Child Development (FCD) recently published a new brief on teaching young Dual Language Learners (DLLs), The Promise of PreK-3rd: Promoting Academic Excellence for Dual Language Learners in Red Bank Public Schools (January 2013). The brief presents a case study of how Red Bank Public Schools in New Jersey is providing a pre-kindergarten through third grade whole-child approach to educating young DLLs in their community. Red Bank found that four key principles are critical to their success: 1) expanding opportunities to learn for young DLL children; 2) integrating pre-kindergarten through third grade curricula and instruction practices that develop mastery and self-regulation; 3) building intentional partnerships that support the goal of educating the whole child; and 4) implementing multiple-source assessments that drive the alignment of curricula, instruction, and teacher quality.