Friday, February 12, 2010

President's Special Ed Funding Increase Not Enough, Some Say

President Obama's proposed budget includes $250 million in new special education funds, but some advocates say it's not enough. The budget proposal has nearly $12 billion in special ed funding for states, which is $250 million more than last year.

"But despite the increase," Disability Scoop reports, "the federal contribution toward the cost of special education would remain steady at about 17 percent. And that’s a problem for special educators who want the president to stick to his campaign promise of fully funding the program."

Deborah Ziegler of the Council for Exceptional Children said: “We are disheartened to see the president did not use this opportunity to fulfill his campaign commitment to fully fund special education and early intervention programs. Another opportunity to make progress toward fully funding IDEA has, sadly, been missed.”

When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed in 1975, Congress committed to funding 40 percent of the cost of educating students with disabilities, with states covering the rest of the cost. But the government has typically provided less than 20 percent of the cost.
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