I’m glad to hear that state leaders are promising to tackle the state’s cap on special education services, which has kept many children from getting the services they need in school. While I can understand a goal of limiting special education spending, there’s actually a smart way to keep down those costs. By strengthening the state’s Early Childhood Intervention, or ECI, system, more kids with disabilities and developmental delays will get help during the first three years of childhood. Services are most effective during this critical period of brain development, helping more children start school ready to succeed without expensive special education services. Unfortunately, last year the Legislature passed Medicaid rate cuts for children’s therapies that will make it harder for community organizations, such as the Brighton Center here in San Antonio, to provide these services to children. We need state leaders to ensure that all kids eligible for ECI have access to the effective services and therapies they need so they will be off to a strong start and live full and successful lives.
Holly Grogan, ECI program director, Brighton Center