A great article today in the Washington Post highlights the movement in Catholic schools to reach out to students with special learning needs.

Financial constraints have historically made it difficult for them to offer similar specialized services.

That is starting to change.

Forty-two percent of Catholic elementary schools in the United States had a resource teacher to help students with special needs in 2008-09, up from 28 percent in 2001-02, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. The Arlington County-based group hosts conferences to help schools establish relevant programs and offers scholarships to teachers pursuing special-education degrees.

Expect this trend to continue and to see more Catholic schools and dioceses improving their capacity to effectively serve all children.  The University of Notre Dame’s ACE program is launching a new certification program in the summer of 2010, Teaching Exceptional Children, to meet the demand.

These are signs of Grace and an important development for Catholic schools.