Sunday, March 16, 2008

Deaf Education Bill Vetoed in South Dakota

House Bill 1242 would have amended existing laws to ensure deaf and hard of hearing kids get the same attention as public schools, but South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds vetoed the bill Friday.

The Governor thinks House Bill 1242 "conflicts with the requirements of federal law."

My question is this? What requirements of federal law? From various sources I have been reading, Governor Rounds said would conflict with federal requirements for special education services and may jeopardize federal funding. House Bill 1242 would require the Board of Regents and state Education Department to establish certain programs for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Many states are lobbying for more funding of underfunded mandates like special education. So, most federal laws relating to special education is underfund mandated laws so how could Governor Rounds jeopardize federal funding? Federal law basically requires states to offer special education services in their schools while at the same time the Federal laws do not impose any definition. Just as long as they meet special education needs within each states. Under various states' and federal school funding policies, a special-education spread the costs depending on the severity of their disability and their needs. Many States are getting funding from Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law governs how states and public agencies provide individuals with disabilities. This federal funding are available to states that adopt at least the minimum policies and procedures specified in the law regarding the education of children with disabilities.

So, I am not sure where the governor is coming from. By the way, I am an federal accountant who deals with federal grants so I am pretty much familiar with many federal programs. I am really curious what the specifics are that the Governor is referring to.

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