Monday, July 4, 2022

Play

July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

Play

The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Budget Cuts Keep Texas Kids with Disabilities from Getting Therapy

Play

Thursday, October 19, 2017   

TYLER, Texas – Funding cuts are forcing thousands of Texas children with disabilities and developmental delays to lose access to critical therapy.

The Texas Legislature first cut funding several years ago to the state's Early Childhood Intervention program, also called ECI, forcing a significant number of contractors providing services for children to drop out of the program.

Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children, says a recent study by her group found those cuts are causing major hardships for thousands of Texas families that have children with special needs.

"Fewer kids are being served by these early intervention programs that help babies and toddlers with disabilities get on track,” Rubin points out. “The Legislature is interested in helping these kids out but has not yet supported the program sufficiently with new funding."

Rubin says ECI provides speech, physical and occupational therapy to prepare children with disabilities to start school.

She says lawmakers cut state money for the program in 2011, and slashed Medicaid reimbursements in 2015.

At the time, lawmakers said the cuts were necessary to balance the state budget, but they failed to keep a promise to restore the funds during this year's legislative session.

Rubin says the study also found that while, overall, fewer children are participating in the program, the funding cuts have hit some groups harder than others.

"Over the last five to six years in particular, we've seen a tremendous drop in the number of kids who are enrolled in the ECI program, with a disproportionate impact on black and Hispanic families,” she states. “And this is at a time when the population of young kids is going up in our state."

Rubin says as providers are forced to drop out of the program, families – particularly those in rural areas – are often traveling great distances to find providers.

"These programs cover many counties and big distances,” she explains. “If a family does not have access to an ECI program, they may have to drive hundreds of miles to find a therapist."

Rubin says her group and others plan to return to the 2019 legislative session to lobby for getting ECI funding fully restored.




get more stories like this via email

The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…


Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …


While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021