Text: H.R.1509 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/11/2013)

1st Session
H. R. 1509

To establish a 5-year demonstration program to provide skills to classroom teachers and staff who work with children with autism spectrum disorders.


April 11, 2013

Mr. Moran (for himself, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Wolf, and Mr. McKinley) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce


To establish a 5-year demonstration program to provide skills to classroom teachers and staff who work with children with autism spectrum disorders.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Autism Understanding and Training in School Methodologies for Educators Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds as follows:

(1) Autism is a group of complex developmental brain disorders collectively referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) that can cause a wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment including social, communication and behavior changes.

(2) Autism spectrum disorders are also referred to as pervasive developmental disorders and include subcategories of classic autism with ranges from high functioning autism (HFA) to low functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD–NOS), as well as more severe cases of Rhett Syndrome and Child Disintegrative Disorder.

(3) Autism affects an estimated 1 in 88 children by age 8 and 1 in 54 boys.

(4) An estimated 1,500,000 individuals in the United States are affected by autism.

(5) More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined.

(6) Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States.

(7) Autism costs the Nation over $35,000,000,000 per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade.

(8) Boys are five times more likely than girls to have autism.

(9) There is currently no medical cure for autism, but there are evidence-based educational methods proven to be effective in improving outcomes for students with autism and research demonstrating the benefits of routine and consistency.

(10) The least restrictive environment for educating students with autism spectrum disorder, including, but not limited to, students with high functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and PDD–NOS, often is best achieved by enrollment in a general education classroom with proper support.

(11) General education classroom teachers and staff often are not adequately trained to work effectively with students with autism spectrum disorders, who have a wide diversity of characteristics, although such skills may be attained through qualified training programs and may be relatively easy to implement in school settings.

(12) Training general education classroom teachers and staff to implement evidence-based practices for educating students with autism spectrum disorders with accuracy and fidelity will help provide for best possible outcomes not only for students with autism, but also for other students in the classroom.

(13) Children with autism in highly transient families, such as the military (where the rate of children on the spectrum is even higher) and foreign service families, often face additional challenges in the public education system because of frequent changes in the family’s geographic duty station or a parent’s deployment, which can interrupt the provision of appropriate interventions and continuity of effective educational methods.

(14) In school districts that have a large population of transient families or that border military bases it is especially important to have staff who are highly trained to provide effective services and build a proven track record of academic achievement in serving students with autism.

SEC. 3. Demonstration program authorized.

(a) Authorization of grant program.—The Secretary is authorized to carry out a demonstration grant program to award grants to eligible entities to enable such entities to accomplish the purposes described in subsection (b).

(b) Purposes.—A grant provided under this section shall be used for the following purposes within schools providing education to children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12:

(1) Providing evidence-based, in-service training to teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff on effective ways to teach, communicate, recognize, support, and interact with children with autism spectrum disorder in the classroom and related school settings. Training on providing effective support includes but is not limited to academic support, behavioral support, communication support, social emotional support, and facilitating positive peer interactions and social skills.

(2) Providing technical assistance consisting of consultation on the type of training needed, hands-on opportunities to practice and perform newly acquired skills and methodologies with fidelity, and post-training support to ensure accuracy of implementation in the classroom.

(3) Executing strategies for recruiting and retaining skilled personnel participating in the education of children with autism spectrum disorders.

(4) Implementing a program of parental support and involvement in the education of students with autism spectrum disorders.

(c) Duration of grants.—A grant provided under this section shall be—

(1) for a period of not more than 5 years, of which not more than the first 2 years shall be used for planning; and

(2) subject to annual approval by the Secretary and subject to the availability of appropriations for the fiscal year involved.

(d) Limitation on administrative costs.—An eligible entity may use not more than 20 percent of the funds received under this section for the administrative costs of carrying out its responsibilities under this section.

(e) Applications.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an eligible entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(f) Report.—The Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of the demonstration program authorized by this section and, not later than 1 year after the date of the completion of the demonstration program, shall prepare and submit to the President and the Congress a report on such evaluation, together with recommendations for dissemination and replication of the results of the program.

(g) Definitions.—For purposes of this section:

(1) The term “autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)” refers to complex disorders of brain development that can affect individuals with varying degrees from mild to severe, and is characterized by a combination of restricted repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, interests and activities; qualitative impairments in social interactions; and qualitative impairments in verbal and nonverbal communication.

(2) The term “eligible entity” means an eligible local educational agency, or a consortia of such agencies, in partnership with—

(A) one or more institutions of higher education; or

(B) one or more nonprofit educational entities with documented expertise in working with children with autism.

(3) The term “eligible local educational agency” means a local educational agency that has no less than 10 percent of its special education population identified with autism spectrum disorders, including, but not limited to, high functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and PDD–NOS, and have documented a growth pattern in the number of these students.

(4) The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002).

(5) The term “local educational agency” has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(6) The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Education.