I didn’t want to put “news” up on the 4th of July, but this one was too important to pass by. The National Education Association (NEA) is having their Annual Representative Assembly in Washington D.C. this week. They just passed an item to launch a digital campaign to advocate for the full funding of IDEA. Since it was reauthorized in 2004, the feds have never given the full amount of funding for special education in America. Here is how it works now: The feds, through IDEA Part B funding, pays about 10-15% of special education costs while states and local districts pay the rest. However, the original intent was for the feds to pay up to 40% of a student’s special education costs.
This glaring omission on the feds part results in states and districts bearing the brunt of the costs. And in a state like Delaware, where there is no Basic Special Education funds from the state for students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade, the local district or charter is forced to pay for 100% of special education services for these students. Despite excellent legislation that would have provided these funds over a period of years for these students, the Delaware General Assembly as a collective body refused to allocate these funds in their most recent budget and the bill didn’t move past being released from the House Appropriations Committee. This should be a no-brainer, but our budget is filled with pork that could have easily been cut to make room for this.
I salute the NEA for their advocacy on this issue. As states struggle with different education funding models, the US DOE needs to step up and do their promised part. But it is up to Congress to allocate these funds. Thank you NEA!
Thank you to Mike Matthews for putting this picture up on Facebook!