IDEA Funding Gains Little in Final FY 2017 Appropriations

MAY 1, 2017

Federal funding for the IDEA gains little in the budget agreement reached by Congress in late April. The deal should be voted on in early May and will fund the federal government for the balance of FY 2017 (until October 1, 2017).

IDEA funds for Part B Sec. 611 (ages 3-21) goes from $11.9 billion in FY 2016 to $12.0 billion in FY 2017 – an increase of .7 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of students served under this program is increasing steadily – growing from 6,697,938 in 2014-2015 to 6,814,410 in 2015-2016, an increase of 1.7 percent. And keep in mind that IDEA allows local school districts to use up to 50 percent of any increase in IDEA funds to offset local spending, so students could see only half of the increase used for special education services.

IDEA funds for Part B Sec. 619 (ages 3-5) stays constant at $368.2 million.

IDEA funds for Part C (infants and families) also stays constant at $458.6 million. The children served under Part C increased from 350,581 in 2014-2015 to 357,715 in 2015-2016, an increase of 2 percent.

Add’t special education appropriations details are here.

Now we wait for the administration to release its budget request for FY 2018, due sometime in May. The “skinny” budget released in March indicated that IDEA funding would be maintained at its current rate, while the U.S. Dept. of Education faces a substantial overall decrease.


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