skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Making holiday travel manageable for those with a chronic health issue; University presidents testify on the rise of anti-semitism on college campuses; Tommy Tuberville's blockade on military promotions is mostly over.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Sen. Tommy Tuberville ends his hold on military promotions, the Senate's leadership is divided on a House Border Bill and college presidents testify about anti-semitism on campus.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Texas welcomes more visitors near Big Bend but locals worry the water won't last, those dependent on Colorado's Dolores River fear the same but have found common ground solutions, and a new film highlights historical healthcare challenges in rural Appalachia.

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

more stories
A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found nearly three in four Jewish students in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed antisemitism this school year. The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has also opened investigations into alleged Islamophobic incidents at least a half-dozen colleges and universities. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …


Social Issues

play sound

There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …


The average cost in Ohio for college tuition and fees is around $10,049 per year, according to the Education Data Initiative. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…

Environment

play sound

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …

A CARE Court treatment plan lasts up to two years and can assist with housing, medical care, addiction treatment, counseling, and more. (SB Arts Media/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …

Environment

play sound

A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…

Social Issues

play sound

California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …

 

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