Obama ignores special ed, again…

Today President Obama released his budget request for FY 2013. The request for the U.S. Department of Education is $69.8 billion. Most programs – including funds to support local school district with the excess cost of special education (IDEA, Part B) are funded at the same level as the previous year (FY2012).

So what does this mean for special education? It means that President Obama (presumably based on the recommendation of his Education Secretary, Arne Duncan) feels that IDEA doesn’t deserve the amount of federal funding promised to it in IDEA.

The IDEA authorized federal funding in the amount of 40% of the excess cost of special education, based on the Annual Per Pupil Expenditure or APPE. During his campaign, Obama pledged to support “full funding” for IDEA. He put it this way:

Fully Funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Barack Obama has been a strong and consistent advocate for fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Congress promised to shoulder 40 percent of each state’s “excess cost” of educating children with disabilities, but it has never lived up to this obligation. Currently, the federal government provides less than half of the promised funding (17 percent). Children are being shortchanged, and their parents are forced to fight with cash-strapped school districts to get the free and appropriate education the IDEA promises their children. Fully funding IDEA will provide students with disabilities the public education they have a right to, and school districts will be able to provide services without cutting into their general education budgets. In addition to fully funding IDEA, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the Act.”

Source: Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan To Empower Americans With Disabilities

Yet the President’s FY2013 budget request seeks an IDEA Part B funding level that will provide approximately 16% of the excess cost – not 40%. The budget request estimates that this would provide $1,72 per child for an estimated 6.6 million students with disabilities.

Find out how much your state will (or won’t) get in 2013 here. (PDF)

Bottom Line

Advocates for full funding of IDEA should give up on President Obama. It is clear that his administration cares more about competitive initiatives like Race to the Top than keeping a promise to fully fund IDEA.

So, lets get ready to hear continued criticism about the cost of special education to local school districts.

No hope, no change.


Grants to States
State or Other Area 2011 Actual 2012 Estimate 2013 Estimate Change from 2012 Estimate
Alabama 179,981,063 181,561,826 181,566,991 5,165
Alaska 36,063,773 36,471,208 36,472,320 1,112
Arizona 183,462,799 188,005,122 188,010,939 5,817
Arkansas 111,004,304 111,979,248 111,982,511 3,263
California 1,213,998,591 1,224,661,067 1,224,697,480 36,413
Colorado 152,891,940 154,234,781 154,239,478 4,697
Connecticut 131,612,076 132,768,017 132,771,675 3,658
Delaware 33,614,205 34,446,453 34,447,519 1,066
District of Columbia 16,901,322 17,319,779 17,320,315 536
Florida 625,657,364 631,152,474 631,170,487 18,013
Georgia 322,524,945 328,077,842 328,087,956 10,114
Hawaii 39,504,872 39,851,841 39,853,020 1,179
Idaho 54,740,479 55,221,261 55,222,921 1,660
Illinois 501,248,821 505,651,259 505,665,544 14,285
Indiana 255,333,586 257,576,165 257,583,335 7,170
Iowa 120,849,314 121,910,726 121,914,069 3,343
Kansas 105,763,719 106,692,635 106,695,678 3,043
Kentucky 156,513,462 157,888,110 157,892,564 4,454
Louisiana 187,317,380 188,962,577 188,968,227 5,650
Maine 54,165,727 54,641,461 54,642,959 1,498
Maryland 198,176,263 199,916,833 199,922,464 5,631
Massachusetts 280,997,908 283,465,895 283,473,669 7,774
Michigan 396,402,364 399,883,942 399,895,690 11,748
Minnesota 187,882,322 189,532,481 189,537,810 5,329
Mississippi 118,935,556 119,980,160 119,983,708 3,548
Missouri 224,855,045 226,829,933 226,836,168 6,235
Montana 36,814,020 37,221,455 37,222,567 1,112
Nebraska 73,914,997 74,564,188 74,566,233 2,045
Nevada 68,994,755 70,702,984 70,705,172 2,188
New Hampshire 46,976,599 47,389,192 47,390,494 1,302
New Jersey 357,803,082 360,945,645 360,955,543 9,898
New Mexico 90,213,359 91,005,697 91,008,220 2,523
New York 751,403,381 758,002,911 758,023,986 21,075
North Carolina 323,238,888 326,077,875 326,087,594 9,719
North Dakota 27,294,331 27,970,106 27,970,971 865
Ohio 433,153,992 436,958,357 436,971,107 12,750
Oklahoma 146,388,454 147,674,175 147,678,405 4,230
Oregon 127,639,189 128,760,236 128,763,928 3,692
Pennsylvania 422,715,133 426,427,814 426,440,201 12,387
Rhode Island 43,287,960 43,668,156 43,669,354 1,198
South Carolina 175,288,806 176,828,357 176,833,330 4,973
South Dakota 32,514,649 33,319,673 33,320,704 1,031
Tennessee 234,411,003 236,469,821 236,476,603 6,782
Texas 972,140,502 980,678,753 980,708,315 29,562
Utah 108,500,873 109,453,830 109,457,116 3,286
Vermont 26,316,947 26,968,524 26,969,358 834
Virginia 279,025,194 281,475,855 281,483,895 8,040
Washington 219,029,685 220,953,409 220,959,927 6,518
West Virginia 75,177,002 75,837,277 75,839,357 2,080
Wisconsin 206,053,221 207,862,974 207,868,824 5,850
Wyoming 27,609,085 28,292,653 28,293,528 875
American Samoa 6,297,058 6,358,510 6,297,058 (61,452)
Guam 13,962,402 14,098,659 13,962,402 (136,257)
Northern Mariana Islands 4,785,135 4,831,832 4,785,135 (46,697)
Puerto Rico 112,146,753 114,923,374 114,926,930 3,556
Virgin Islands 8,874,264 8,960,866 8,874,264 (86,602)
Freely Associated States 6,579,306 6,579,306 6,579,306 0
Indian set-aside 92,011,750 92,909,676 92,909,676 0
Other (non-State allocations) 25,000,000 25,000,000 25,000,000 0
Total 11,465,960,975 11,577,855,236 11,577,855,000 (236)

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