The White House recently released its budget plan, nicknamed the “skinny budget,” which proposes significant cuts to non-defense discretionary programs that benefit people with developmental disabilities. The 62-page plan outlines President Trump’s fiscal priorities in 2018. It calls for increases in spending for homeland security and defense, as well as funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; however, it proposes cuts to transportation and housing programs, education, and medical research.

According to Disability Scoop, the most significant budget cuts include:

  • S. Department of Health and Human Services: 17.9 percent
  • Department of Education: 13 percent
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development: 13.2 percent
  • Department of Labor: 21 percent

Special needs advocates argue that the plan would be a major blow to programs that help people with disabilities get an equal education and find work. One area of particular concern is modifications to the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The plan would eliminate certain assistance grants.

Supporters of the plan argue that the modifications are a necessary step in creating a “leaner” government. Although the plan calls for deregulation of certain special needs programs, states would be allowed to test new programs to help disabled individuals maintain employment or find jobs. However, opponents argue that the quality of special needs programs would be compromised in states that are not willing to appropriate the necessary funding.

The proposed spending plan is just the first step in creating a budget. Congress must approve the plan in order for it to go into effect.

No matter what the future holds for special needs programs, every child in the United States has a right to fair education. If your child’s school or school district has failed to accommodate his or her disability, turn to the Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar. Mr. Nachbar is a special needs attorney in New Jersey who will help you enforce your child’s rights. Schedule a consultation today by calling 973-567-0954.

How Could Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Affect the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools and school districts to make necessary accommodations for children with special needs. Students who qualify may be entitled to language and speech therapy, a classroom aid, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.

Recent reports indicate that IDEA will maintain its $13 billion in funding. What is unclear, though, is how the funding will be appropriated for IDEA. There are several parts of IDEA, all of which require funding in order to be effective, and it is still possible that certain elements of the law will be cut. Those details will not be available until a more formal budget is introduced in May.

Regardless of any budgetary changes, students with disabilities have a right to fair education opportunities. If your child was denied services under IDEA or Section 504, contact the Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar. Call 973-567-0954 to schedule a consultation with a special needs lawyer in New Jersey.