Students With Disabilities Rely On Census-Informed Funding To Fill In The Financial Gaps For Special Education: LAist

Sara Austin holds a photo of her 12-year-old son. He was diagnosed with autism around age 2. (Gabriela Torres/LAist)

What’s at stake for Southern California in the 2020 Census? Billions of dollars in federal funding for programs like Medi-Cal, for public education, even disaster planning. Political representation in Sacramento and D.C. A census undercount could cut critical resources in L.A. County, home to the largest hard-to-count population in the nation.

In the 2018-19 school year, 14% of all public school students received special education services. Since 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has required the availability of free education and related services which address the individual needs of children and youth with a disability. Census-informed data is used to allocate federal dollars to ensure special education is properly funded.

Sara Austin is a local parent “intimately” familiar with the importance of education and services for kids with

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