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Feds' special ed cash infusion helpful: more is needed, though

Saying that the federal government is "committed to promoting equity and excellence at every level of the education system," a ranking official with the U.S. Department of Education announced last week an infusion of new money earmarked for enhanced training programs in American colleges and universities.

Ultimately, the money will be parceled out in various amounts to several dozen schools across the country.

Any such effort toward improving special education in the United States is of course salutary, and the $13.4 million in grant money that one media account notes will "beef up special education training" will undoubtedly be put to good use.

Is it enough, though?

A completely candid answer must respond that, no, it is not. Some families in America spend more than that amount on a house. A single sports facility can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Many business moguls, entertainers and athletes command annual salaries that greatly exceed the amount tagged by the federal government for college-based special ed initiatives.

The saying, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" would seem to apply here, given that any funds that are applied to improving special education are welcome -- in fact, desperately needed -- by their targeted audience. Stating the obvious -- that more is needed -- is no intended disparagement of what is given. It is merely acknowledgement that even more cash would be better.

Supplementing that need, of course, is the tandem necessity that every child needing special education assistance in California and elsewhere have meaningful and unfettered access to it.

Funds and access go together. Parents of special ed students know that at a most intimate level.

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