IDEA turns 45 Is Congress Close to Guaranteeing
Full Special Ed Funding?
IDEA turns 45 Is Congress Close to Guaranteeing Full Special Ed Funding?
Original Article By Kara Arundel | K-12 Dive | Nov. 24, 2020
Schools are legally and financially responsible for each student’s plan for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) no matter the amount of funding they receive.
When states accept IDEA Part B grant funding, “They are, in fact, promising to serve every eligible student regardless of what it costs.” - Candace Cortiella, director of The Advocacy Institute and organizer of IDEA Money Watch
That is why districts — large and small, urban and rural — nationwide are looking to the federal government to provide more funding for IDEA
The specific ask is for “full funding” of IDEA, or 40% of the additional cost to serve students with disabilities.
The current IDEA funding level is at 13% — or, on average, $1,762 per IDEA-eligible student.
“There are no consequences when the system continues to fail our children. There are just excuses that there’s nothing they can do, it’s too expensive, we don’t have the skills or resources.” - Keri Rodrigues, co-founder of the National Parents Union
The IDEA was last Reauthorized in 2004 and included a 10-year plan to incrementally increase toward the full funding goal, but it was never realized.
Chad Rummel, Executive Director of the Council for Exceptional Children, said more federal money could allow schools to:
- Hire more qualified teachers
- Provide evidence-based professional development and
- Purchase assistive technology for students with disabilities.
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