skip to main content

Sunday, June 4, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Budget Cuts Keep Texas Kids with Disabilities from Getting Therapy

play audio
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

Almost all departments in Connecticut schools saw shortages in 2022, following a long-standing national trend. A 2022 American Federation of Teachers report found before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the school year ends, Connecticut's teacher shortage seems to have only worsened. In March, school districts across the state reported having 2,60…


Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…

Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…


Pennsylvanians must register to vote by Oct. 23 to be eligible to vote in the general election on Nov. 7. (Vesperstock/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Keystone State's general election is less than six months away and a nonpartisan, grassroots organization is already getting the word out to …

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

A 2019 report from the New York State Comptroller's Office found almost 85% of green jobs were in increased demand. A 2022 report found there are 35,700 workers in New Jersey's green economy. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth. New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create …

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

 

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