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Alabama Ranks Low for Educating Students with Disabilities

By Associated Press

Washington, DC – The U-S Education Department says Alabama is among four-fifths of the states falling short of federal requirements for educating students with disabilities.

The states got their first-ever federal report cards this week judging them on how well they are implementing the nation's main special education law. The state-by-state results were posted on the Education Department's Web site yesterday.

The requirements are outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as the law is called. The largest part of the act is a ten-and-a-half (b) billion dollar program providing students aged three to 21 with specialized programs to fit their educational needs.

Alabama was among the states labeled as ''needs assistance.'' Lower-rated states were tagged ''needs intervention.'' State in either of those categories must improve or face sanctions such as the loss of federal aid.

Only nine states were found to be fully meeting the requirements of that part of the program. Those states are: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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