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Legislative session finished…for now!

Posted by Texas Education on June 4, 2009

Yes, yes you don’t have to tell me I have been lax in updating my blog! Just haven’t been up to it much. I guess I get tired of always being the bearer of bad news, pretty much anyway. I know I’m the one who chose to blog about texaseduation! So, I need to man up, as they say, or is it womanup? I’ve been twittering more, much more fun! Seems to be my niche also! Well, here is the poop and nothin’ but the poop!

A compromise school finance bill was passed (HB 3646), and it now awaits the Governor’s signature. The main components of this “school finance reform bill are:

Directs $1.9 billion of new money into public schools – this has been consistent with all versions of this bill.

Increases the basic allotment, guaranteed yield, and equalized wealth level, putting districts with low revenue targets back onto formula funding – we know enough now to determine that this provision only impacts the lowest WADA districts (about 350) districts in the state. We, (Humble ISD) along with about 70% of the districts in the state remain on a new total target revenue system, now frozen at the 2009 level of revenue.

Provides every district a minimum $120 per Weighted Average Daily Attendance (WADA) increase – this is the amount of new state funding we will receive, and it means an approximately $4 million increase for us in each of the next two years.

Provides an across-the-board educator pay raise of the greater of $800/year or each educator’s share of $60/WADA for the district and includes speech-pathologists in the educator pay raise – the $60/WADA here is how our teacher salary increases for next year will need to be calculated. So effectively, our “new additional funding from the state” for operating budget is actually $2 million in each of the next years!

Establishes a permanent “roll-forward” for the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA) program – this is a very good thing, but there was no increase in EDA funding.
Establishes a new program to guarantee bonds for new school construction – this will hopefully be very helpful to us as we begin to sell Bond 2008 bonds and pursue Bond 2008 needed projects.

Provides an additional $50 career/tech allotment for students in sequences leading to certification, and provides for funding of certification exam fees – we will realize some additional dollars here.

Provides funding for credit recovery classes for students – this too will get us a few more dollars.

So where are we with this now passed “school finance reform” legislation? W e are left with a system that did not improve our equity lot relative to WADA funding, and we will continue to have to confront deficit operating budgets over the next two years. So especially now, THANK YOU Humble ISD Community for passing the tax rate election this past year! That at least will keep us solvent through the next legislative session.

Humble ISD is  also now working with their legal counsel, as they assess whether or not to file suit against the state.

The legislature also passed a compromise Accountability bill. Unfortunately, it is going to take a few weeks to really decipher and understand how the new system will work, but it is very unfortunate, that this new legislation does not even come close to resembling what the Select Committee on Accountability recommended after a year of public hearings throughout the state!

Posted in accountability, financing, funding, good stuff - not quite, texas education, Texas schools, Texas State Legislature | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

WADA gap widens under HB 3646

Posted by Texas Education on May 20, 2009

If we didn’t have enough problems with funding, HB 3646 by Rep. Scott Hochberg, well, suffice it to say that under HB 3646 Humble ISD will receive a $100 per WADA increase. Katy ISD, which already receives approximately $300 more per WADA than we do, will receive an additional $272 per WADA under HB 3646! Looks like the equity gap widens to me! And Sheldon ISD which already receives about $1,100 more per WADA than we do, will receive the same $100 per WADA increase as we do under HB 3646.

Also under HB 3646 is a $1.9 billion school finance reform package that purports to improve funding equity among districts and provides a $800 across the board salary increase for teachers. However for us, is much too little by way of needed relief for the next biennium and it is far from equitable!

HB 3646 will provide between $4 – $5 million in new money to our district in each year of the biennium and nearly half of those funds would have to be used to fund the $800 salary increase to teachers! Now there is no debating that teachers not only need and deserve a salary increase of way more than $800, BUT here we go again with the Legislature giving with the right hand and taking some back with the left hand trick! Having cut $27 million from our operating budget since 2002 and being frozen at the 2005-06 total operating revenue level, we need much more than $4 – $5 million annually from the state to even get close to where we were in 2004-05!

Our only hope for getting the right thing done in Austin now lies with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and the Senate. Whether the Senate Education Committee advances Sen. Van de Putte’s SB 982 or Sen. Shapiro’s SB 2392, we need them to right the wrongs of HB 3646!

PLEASE contact the members of the Senate Education Committee and urge them to truly address adequacy and equity in funding to our schools. For me, it is not a threat, it is just a statement of fact, the only outcome of HB 3646 for us is heading back to court.

Sen. Florence Shapiro, Chair
Sen. Dan Patrick, Vice Chair
Sen. Tommy Williams
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte
Sen. Royce West
Sen. Mario Gallegos
Sen. Steve Ogden
Sen. Wendy Davis
Sen. Kip Averitt

Posted in financing, funding, good stuff - not quite, texas education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

This & That

Posted by Texas Education on April 21, 2009

I know I’ve been a bit AWOL. I’ve been tired, working full time can wear a person out…and, there is a lot going on. Last Tuesday’s City & State had a great article by Lisa Falkenberg, who, I must say, in person, is very funny! She talks about the stimulus money, which I am most interested in due to the fact I hope it gets me gainfully employed! See, they tend to cut out tech stuff, but with some money…well, crossing fingers, anyway! I have to agree with her on this one, she says, “can you still call it ‘stimulus’ if it’s being used for a purpose no more stimulating that maintaining the status quo?”

Also, on that front page is an article on sex ed in the doctor’s office. Talks about mother’s taking their daughters to the gynecologists to do the talking for them. That’s a tough one for me, I have a daughter, 17, so again, this one is a bit near and dear (for lack of a better way to say it.) I don’t wish to comment on that one, don’t know what to say, really. I found this part interesting though:

“If you say: ‘Are you sexually active?’ They say: ‘No, I only have one boyfriend.’ If you ask, ‘Are you having sex?,’ they say no, but when you ask them about the last time they had sex, they say a month ago,” said Sinacori, a Memorial-area obstetrician/gynecologist.

Then on Thursday of last week, Humble filled up the Kingwood/Humble section, well actually the whole section. Front page “An ‘A’ for extra effort.” This talks about how the mentoring program and how successful it is. I believe that, seems like a no brainer, if you put anything into it…should come out positive. One part in the article about Waymond Wesley, the AP at Humble MS, he is quoted as saying:

“I never saw my father, so I learned from others,”

260xstoryGotta say, that pretty much sums up my childhood. (Ok, some may TMI here, but I feel I can talk about my successes just like Mr. Wesley.) I also feel I can connect with some of the students because of my background.  That paragraph goes on to say:

“They conveyed to me that I could do whatever I wanted. The more they shared of themselves, the more confidence I got in myself.”

I don’t even feel I had it THAT good. I was not real good at anything, but I did well in school, but didn’t have anyone to convey anything, share, nor give me confidence. I pretty much did it on my own, looked at role models, etc. Hey, I’m not crying here, just telling it like is was. School was my sanctuary, and I’m thankful for that, and try to make it that way for any student I come across.

Another article with a great mug of Dr. Sconzo! “District finds ways to turn hard issues into success stories.”  Pretty much sums up the article. They didn’t put that one on-line though, sorry!

And rounding out that section, the “Report Card.” The school I’m currently at did extremely well, looks like, most of the schools in Humble did well, also. We must be doing something right, eh?

You can check out your schools “Report Card” here.

Posted in Abstinence Education, financing, FYI, Good Stuff, In-the-news, learning, mentoring, Sex-education | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rep. Garnet Coleman fighting to make higher education more affordable

Posted by Texas Education on April 16, 2009

The passage of legislation deregulating tuition in 2003 marked the end of an era of accountability, accessibility and affordability in Texas public higher education. Since tuition deregulation went into effect, designated tuition at Texas colleges and universities has skyrocketed 112 percent, placing the burden of these increased tuition rates on the backs of students and families. Texas Grants and student loans have not risen on par with the escalating cost of tuition, nor have they kept up with the number of qualifying students; thus creating a growing gap between those able to afford college and those in need of financial assistance.

Today, I laid out legislation – House Bill 2955 – in the House Higher Education Committee that would repeal the tuition setting powers of university boards of regents. HB 2955 would scale back tuition rates to reasonable levels and set the tuition for the next 6 academic years. This would give Texas students the opportunity to financially plan their education and focus on their studies, rather than worry about how to pay for college. It is time that state officials take back the responsibility for controlling tuition and expand educational opportunities for Texas students, not continue to price them out.

Posted in financing, Higher Ed, Higher Education | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Texas PTA Action Alert – what you need to know!

Posted by Texas Education on April 7, 2009

Members of Senate Education will be considering a bill to create a voucher program for children with autism on Tuesday of this week.

Please call the following members of the Senate Education Committee and urge them to Oppose SB 1301, SB 183, SB 2204!

What you need to know:
Texas cannot afford to finance private education as well as public education. There are two ways to pay for vouchers-take money from already under-funded public schools or raise taxes. Both are unacceptable.

  • Public policy should respect parental choice but provide for all students. The best public policy is to provide parents with even more choices within the public schools, which serve 94.5% of Texas children. Legislators should concentrate on making all public schools stronger, safer, more challenging and accountable. Public tax dollars should be spent only to improve public schools-not to assist the small number of parents who choose to enroll their children in private academies or religious schools.
  • Inserting the word “private” doesn’t make a school good. There is no proof that private school vouchers would improve students’ academic performance. In fact, students attending private schools under the Milwaukee and Cleveland voucher programs did not outperform their public school peers.
  • Vouchers don’t create a “competitive marketplace.” Competition is based on an even playing field; there is no fair competition when “competitors” play by different rules. Public schools must accept all applicants, private schools don’t. Private schools are not required to provide transportation, special education, bilingual education, free and reduced price lunches, and many other programs that public schools provide.
  • While private school vouchers might cover a portion of the cost of education, many parents would not be able to afford the likely additional costs beyond the amount of the voucher.
  • State and Federal regulations such as IDEA that protect students with special educational needs require the development and maintenance of an educational plan for each student. This right is not guaranteed in private schools.
  • Not all communities have private programs for children with autism, so legislation would create this “opportunity” for a small number of children. Private programs for students with autism in more rural areas of Texas are few in number and therefore not a choice.
  • Special education certification is required for public educators, but not for private school employees. 
  • What you can do:

    Contact the following members of Senate Education and tell them the following:
    Sen. Florence Shapiro, chair @ 512-463-0108 – “I am a member of Texas PTA, with over 600,000 members and I oppose voucher programs such as those proposed in SB 1301, 2204 and 183.”

    Sen. Dan Patrick @ 512-463 0107 – “Please oppose Sb 1301, 2204, and 183. I am a member of Texas PTA, representing the 600,000+ members, and Texas PTA opposes voucher programs.”

    Sen. Kip Averitt @ 512-463 0122 – “Please oppose Sb 1301, 2204, and 183. I am a member of Texas PTA, representing the 600,000+ members, and Texas PTA opposes voucher programs.”

    Sen. Steve Ogden @ 512-463 0105 – “Please oppose Sb 1301, 2204, and 183. I am a member of Texas PTA, representing the 600,000+ members, and Texas PTA opposes voucher programs.”

    Sen. Tommy Williams @ 512-463 0104 – “I am a member of Texas PTA, with over 600,000 members and I oppose voucher programs such as proposed in SB 1301, 2204, and 183.”

    Encourage each Senator:
    Instead of funding a program for students to go to a private school, why not invest in on-going, comprehensive professional development for instructors of students with disabilities such as autism, so that teachers and teaching assistants are better equipped to work with students with special needs? This would be money well spent, money that would be used to improve the training of all teachers of students with disabilities, unlike voucher program funding that would be used for a few students without improving the educational environment for the students left behind. Several bills have been filed this session that create professional development academies and require on-going professional development in best practices related to education for students with special needs. The key is to fund these programs so that all school districts may take full advantage of them.

    Thank you for using your voice to help our kids!

    Posted in financing, In-the-news, Texas PTA, vouchers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by Texas Education on April 7, 2009

    Last night was the first night for a new show on MSNBC, called The Ed Show! Hosted by Veteran talk radio host Ed Schultz. The show debates and discusses issues affecting all Americans. In this video “Rebuilding America,” Ed discusses how we’ve spent money on Education and where President Obama will spend money on Education. He starts on Education at about 4:33 minutes into it, he talks about education:

    “I believe that the conservatives have vilified public education, they have short changed teachers, they have short changed facilities, and now we’ve got ourselves in a pickle, and all the conservative talkers in America you know what they do? ‘Public Education’s terrible, it will never work, we’ve got to push this school voucher thing.’ …I believe that we have to give an equal opportunity to every American if we’re going to be the great county we once were.”

    Posted in accountability, Ethics, financing, leadership, national education, teachers, teaching, vouchers | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Update – Texas PTA 3/30/09

    Posted by Texas Education on March 30, 2009

    Lots and lots of updates, this from Texas PTA:

    The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) placed $895 million for textbooks in Article IX, also called the “wish list.”  In contrast, House Appropriations Committee (HAC) reduced the amount appropriated to $759 million, but guaranteed funding for this item in the budget bill.  Of the $895 million, approximately $547 million is in for Proclamation 2010, while the remainder is for continuing contracts.  The $137 million reduction found in the house is cut from the amount set aside for Proclamation 2010 materials and represents a 25 percent reduction.  The subcommittee believes that there was no incentive for textbook publishers to come in at a price under the maximum allowed for each text and hope that this reduction will incent them to do so or to deliver content through other more cost-effective methods.

    Other Items in the Budget
    In both versions of the budget bill is a rider allocating nearly $1.9 billion in additional funding to public education contingent on the passage of a bill that would increase equity and reduce recapture.  The HAC adopted its subcommittee’s recommendation that this rider be modified to include an educator salary increase as one of the goals of legislation that would trigger this funding.  Finally both the HAC and the SFC versions of the budget bill remove $6 million that was allocated for steroid testing.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden said that he plans to have a $177 billion budget ready for a vote late next week. He described the bill as “balanced” and said that the Rainy Day Fund won’t be needed to pay for it. This is due to the incoming federal stimulus funds that will create more spending for programs like Medicaid and job-training programs. If Ogden’s timeline holds, the bill should be on the Senate floor by next Thursday. The House is still working on its version of the 2010-2011 budget.

    Class Size Bill SB 300 was approved by the Senate this week, which amends provisions for a school district seeking exemption from the limit of a campus-wide average of 22 students per class. The latest version of the bill, which was sent to the House, allows school districts to apply for a waiver of the 22-1 class size rule for one year rather than the current law which requires a district to apply each semester. It also provides for districts to conduct emergency school bus evacuation training and mandates schools to create a “long-range energy plan” to reduce their energy consumption.

    The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) today passed science curriculum standards that are considered a compromise between those critical of teaching evolutionary theories and those who feared attacks on evolution would lead to the teaching of creationism in public schools. The 13-2 vote removes current requirements that students be taught the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories. Instead, teachers will be required to have students scrutinize “all sides” of scientific theories, a move criticized by evolution proponents. This week’s impassioned debate had scientists, teachers and textbook publishers from around the country focused on Texas, which, because of its size, influences much of what publishers put in textbooks. Today’s adoption comes after many months of back-and-forth over drafts for the standards, which were last revised in 1998.  The Discovery Institute, which encourages teaching that the universe is the result of “intelligent design,” called the vote “a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution.”  By requiring students to critique the evidence for major evolutionary concepts such as common ancestry, natural selection and mutations, the institute said in a statement, “Texas today moved to the head of the class.” “Texas has sent a clear message that evolution should be taught as a scientific theory open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned,” said John West, a senior fellow at the institute. The standards also call for students to specifically analyze and evaluate evolutionary theory’s explanation for both the complexity of cells and the sudden appearance and lack of change in species in the fossil record. Though evolution advocates were happy with initial votes to remove language that implied that certain principals of evolution were “insufficient” to explain certain natural phenomena in cells and fossils, board members who pushed to include weaknesses of evolution said they were happy with the compromise. Board Chairman Don McLeroy, R-College Station, who pushed for language challenging scientific explanations of cell complexity and fossil records, said the new wording still gets his point across. “The scientific community got its luster back,” McLeroy said. He and Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, one of the members behind several compromise proposals, both said the board ended up with a better document than it started with that morning. (Statesman)

    Last week Governor Perry held a press conference to reject $555 million in federal unemployment insurance. The US Dept. of Labor has countered there is no penalty for states who reject an expansion of unemployment insurance rules in order to receive the stimulus money. The memo released by the Labor Dept. was written in mostly question and answer form, below is the excerpt where they refute Perry’s argument.

    Question: UIPL No. 14-09 provides that applications for incentive payments should only be made under provisions of state laws that are currently in effect as permanent law and not subject to discontinuation. Does this mean that my state may never repeal any of the provisions that qualified it for a UC Modernization payment?

    Answer: No. If a state eventually decides to repeal or modify any of these provisions, it may do so, and it will not be required to return any incentive payments. However, in providing the incentive payments, Congress clearly intended to support states that had already adopted certain eligibility provisions and to expand eligibility to additional beneficiaries by encouraging other states to adopt these provisions. By specifying that the provisions must be in effect as permanent law, Congress also made clear its intention that the benefit expansions not be transitory. While states are free to change or repeal the provisions on which modernization payments were based subsequent to receipt of incentive payments, Congress and the Department rely on states’ good faith in adopting the eligibility criteria, and the application must attest to this good faith as required by the following Q&A…”They’re saying, in essence, that states have the right to come back and change their standards later, but that legislation written to comply with the higher standards cannot include “sunset” provisions on those standards.

    They can change back later, but can’t include that intention in their law at the outset.” This issue could certainly become contentious, as there are rumors swirling around the capitol about a special session due the disagreement between the legislature and Perry over the stimulus funds.
    (Some info from Texas Weekly)

    HB 873 by Dawnna Dukes was passed out of the House on Wednesday. This marks the first piece of substantial legislation passed with more than half of the session over. Expect a flurry of bills to be passed and debated on the floor in the coming weeks.

    The Texas Senate unanimously approved a SB 730 Wednesday that would allow Texans to bring guns and ammunition to work, even if their bosses said no.

    Guns and shells would have to be kept out of sight in a locked car. Under the measure, employers could still bar employees from possessing guns in offices or company vehicles and in fenced parking lots to which access is restricted. (Statesman)

    Representative Todd Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Elections, announced that he wants invited testimony before the committee to take place on April 6 and public testimony to be heard April 7. The reason for this is to avoid the wait time for some members of the public who waited for over 13 hours to testify when the Senate took up Voter ID. “I didn’t like the fact that the public didn’t have a chance to testify until the wee hours,” Smith said.

    For information on all the bills being tracked by Texas PTA please click on the following links:

    Posted in financing, Texas PTA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Texas PTA update – 3/20/09

    Posted by Texas Education on March 20, 2009

    Just in from the Texas PTA:


    There was a hearing this week on SB 3 and HB 3, the filed bills on school accountability. We will have more information for you over the next few days and weeks, but here are a few pieces:
    • The bill creates a distinction tier for excellence in a variety of areas – growth in achievement, closing the gaps, workforce readiness, fine arts, physical fitness, second language learning. Texas PTA requested that this be included so that school districts would be encouraged to provide robust, challenging programs in fine arts and physical activity/fitness.  Schools can earn distinctions in multiple areas.
    • To earn a Post-secondary Readiness endorsement, the goal for all Texas high school graduates, where students complete 4 years of English, Math, Science and Social Studies, 2 foreign language credits and 8 credits or electives of their own choosing. Career and Technology courses, approximately 30 of them, would be allowed to count for 4th year of math and science. The bill also recommends the creation of new applied math and science courses.
    • The bill defines college readiness standards and skilled workforce readiness standards.
    • To maintain accreditation, student achievement or growth in individual student achievement toward post-secondary readiness would be assessed each year, but a 3 year rolling average for each student subpopulation would be allowed.
    • The bill aligns exit standards with skilled workforce and college readiness standards.

    Rep. Diane Patrick, Arlington, has filed HB 4208 relating to school bus idling.

    Late last week, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Houston, filed HB 3415, an alternative to HB 5 and SB 544, the comprehensive statewide smoke-free workplaces law that Texas PTA has endorsed.

    Sen. Hegar, Katy, has filed SB 2327, relating to a prohibition on smoking in a car in which a person under age 16 is riding.

    We’ll put in a card of support for HB 149, regarding penalties for illegally passing a school bus.  We’ll put in a card of support for HB 1622, relating to a grant program to provide children at risk of hunger or obesity with increased access to nutritious foods.

    Senator Shapiro, Plano, has filed SB 2392 relating to school finance.  This bill adjusts formulas that determine funding for school districts.

    Sen. Shapiro, Plano, has again filed a voucher bill – SB 2204 relating to vouchers for students with autism.

    Vondebar (wonderful!) some awesome bills filed on behaf of our kiddos!

    Posted in accountability, financing, learning, Texas PTA, vouchers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    News Release: Texas Charter Schools Association Testimony on SB 3 (3/17/09)

    Posted by Texas Education on March 17, 2009

    Prepared Testimony of
    David Dunn, Executive Director of the Texas Charter Schools Association
    Before the Senate Education Committee regarding SB3
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Good Morning Madam Chair and Members of the Committee.   I am David Dunn, the Executive Director of the Texas Charter Schools Association.  As you know, I returned home from the U.S. Department of Education to lead the Texas Charter Schools Association, or TCSA,  about six months ago. TCSA is the leading membership organization of effective charter schools of all types.  We proudly represent over 48,000 students in 251 charter schools across Texas — which equals over one-half of the students currently enrolled in Texas’ open enrollment charter schools.
    This is the most exciting time I can remember for charter schools.  The very first school President and Mrs. Obama visited was a charter school.  In his address to Congress last month, and just last week in a major domestic policy speech the President again stressed charter schools as a powerful tool in education reform.  Performance-based accountability is the hallmark of charter schools.  Since the first charter school opened 18 years ago, the research has been crystal clear – we are making notable gains in student achievement serving a diverse population in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
    On behalf of our members, I am pleased to testify in favor of Senate Bill 3. The TCSA applauds your work Chairman Shapiro, along with Representative Eissler and the Joint Select Committee on Accountability in addressing the needs of the 21st century workforce and ensuring our entire public school system thrives.  Senate Bill 3 represents a bold effort to improve the state’s accountability system.  TCSA certainly supports the major policy aims of the bill to ensure post-secondary readiness for the state’s high school graduates.

    We are particularly pleased with the bill’s effort to create a growth standard in student achievement because a growth standard best depicts the progress students are making each year.  The adoption of a growth standard captures one of the highest policy priorities for charter schools this session. TCSA looks forward to working with members of the committee and your staffs to clearly define the growth standard and its relation to a charter school’s accreditation status.  Specifically, the manner in which the vertical scaling component is folded into the accountability system is very important to charter schools in Texas.

    Next, TCSA is pleased to see financial accountability emphasized in this legislation.  As you know, financial accountability standards will be new for charter schools.  Because of this, there may be timing issues for ramping up charter school compliance with these new standards. A phased-in approach for the new financial standards might be most sustainable for charter schools. Whatever financial accountability standards are ultimately adopted for charter schools, our association will certainly provide training and services to help charter schools meet them to demonstrate proper stewardship of the state’s funds.

    We have several other observations concerning the bill and its potential impact on the students enrolled in charter schools, but we will save them for later deliberations with you, your staffs and other stakeholders. Today, my aim is to pledge our continued engagement in the process to improve the bill as it seeks to improve the way the state measures educational achievement of charter school students. Thank you for allowing me time, I’m pleased to answer any questions that you might have at this time.


    Posted in accountability, Ethics, financing, funding, texas education | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Financial Aid and Scholarship Resources

    Posted by Texas Education on March 16, 2009

    Got this from a friend on-line. Many of these are for those with disabilities. I received this from a Tourette’s list serv I am on.  Hope it can help! Most of the deadlines are coming
    up fast (March 31st/April 1st) so move quickly.


    The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website offers information
    and tools to help consumers select a school, apply for aid, and locate
    federal student loans. A fact sheet on “Tips for Paying for College,”
    provides suggestions to make filing a FAFSA easier. The fact sheet is
    available at www.ed.gov/students/college/aid/paying.html. The website can be
    found at http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/

    Through the Looking Glass will award students of parents with disabilities
    two separate scholarship awards: one for graduating high school seniors who
    will be attending college, and one for currently enrolled college students.
    For more information go to   http://lookingglass.org/scholarships/index.php
    Application deadline: March 16, 2009

    The Family RA Scholarship Program will offer 30 one-time scholarships of up
    to $10,000 each in 2009 each to students living beyond the boundaries of
    rheumatoid arthritis. For more information go to:
    Application deadline: March 20, 2009

    This $1,500 scholarship is awarded to one high school senior with a
    certified language-related learning difference who is pursuing
    post-secondary education. It is renewable for up to three additional,
    consecutive years.  For more information go to:
    Deadline: March 31, 2009

    The Immune Deficiency Foundation is honored to award scholarships to
    undergraduate students living with primary immunodeficiency diseases.  For
    more information go to:
    Application deadline: March 31, 2009

    CVS/All Kids Can Scholars Program, provides scholarships in the amount of
    $1,000 to a qualified individual with autism to be applied toward the
    completion of an accredited, postsecondary educational or vocational program
    of study (e.g., college, trade school, etc.).  For more information go to
    Deadline: March 31, 2009

    Each year at its national convention in July, the NFB gives a broad array of
    thirty scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars. For more
    information go to http://www.nfb.org/nfb/scholarship_program.asp
    Application deadline:  March 31, 2009

    The Gilman International Scholarship Program provides awards of up to $5,000
    for U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad for up to one academic year.
    The program aims to diversify the kinds of student who study abroad and the
    countries and regions where they go. The Gilman Program seeks to assist
    students from a diverse range and type of two-year and four-year public and
    private institutions from all 50 states.  For more information go to
    Application deadline: April 7, 2009

    The ELA Scholarship program provides financial assistance from $500-$2000
    for women with physical disabilities who are in graduate school allowing
    them to pursue their degree, and develop their leadership
    role within the disability community. For more information go to
    Deadline for application: June 1, 2009

    The Joshua O’Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment Fund seeks to offer
    financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome who wish to enrich
    their lives by enrolling in postsecondary programs or taking classes that
    will help them gain employment, independent living skills, life skills, or
    others. Up to five grants will be awarded, each grant not to exceed $1000,
    and the grant may be used to pay for the tuition for a course or
    postsecondary program at a local college, educational institution, learning
    center or employment training program. For more information go to  .
    Application deadline: Not posted yet

    Project Vision lists dozens of scholarships available specifically for
    students with disabilities, including nearly 50 that have their application
    deadlines in March, April, and May.  Learn more about them at:

    This website includes links to scholarship applications for students with
    various disabilities for graduate and undergraduate as well as vocational
    studies.  For more information go to

    Looking for scholarships for Latino students?  For  students formerly in
    foster care? Scholarships offered by the Federal Government?  Then visit the
    web site of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA). One new
    NPSA product, the Scholarship Data Standard, allows students to complete an
    online scholarship application and then re-use the information with other
    scholarship providers without retyping their data. These and other documents
    can be found on the NSPA website at http://www.scholarshipproviders.org

    Michigan State’s comprehensive list of financial aid resources for students
    with disabilities can be found at

    Includes a list of scholarships for students with disabilities, by
    disability category. To access their list, visit

    The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is pleased to
    announce it will continue to help increase scholarship opportunities for
    students with disabilities. The Washington Center will complement students’
    professional experience with solid academic training for credit from highly
    qualified instructors. In addition, students will be exposed to community,
    national and international leaders through workshops, seminars, lectures,
    embassy visits and networking events held throughout the course of each
    semester. Applications are available at http://www.twc.edu/students/how_to_apply.shtml

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