In a series of reports published in December, the L.A. Times found that California’s Department of Developmental Services spent between $11,000 and $12,000 on services for white and Asian autistic children ages 3 to 6. DDS spent about $7,600 on Latino children and $6,594 on African American children. State lawmakers ordered yesterday’s hearing in response to the Times investigation.

California lawmakers and advocates for children with autism assailed the state Department of Developmental Services during a hearing Monday over the deep racial and ethnic disparities in how it spends money on the disorder. “Families that are already the most disadvantaged get the least,” Martha Matthews, an attorney for the advocacy group Public Counsel, testified before a panel of legislators in Sacramento.

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