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IDEA Money Watch tracks the $13.5 billion in annual federal funds provided to states and local school districts for special education.



October 8, 2019: AEI and Fordham release new paper by Nathan Levenson, "Cost-Effective Special Education Good for the Budget and Great for Kids," at their Getting the most bang for the education buck event

September 27, 2019: Congress has passed and the President has signed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded (at current levels) through November 21, giving appropriators more time to finalize Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) funding levels.

July 31, 2019:  Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduce the Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act (H.R. 4107), a bipartisan bill designed to restore full funding for early intervention and preschool special education services under IDEA. More here...

June 25, 2019: National Education Policy Center's new report, Funding Special Education: Charting a Path that Confronts Complexity and Crafts Coherence, addresses areas of incoherence in funding of special education, providing guidelines for federal policymakers to establish a national policy framework. Get it here.

April 29, 2019: IDEA Part B Grants to States gets $1 billion boost in FY2020 House Appropriations bill - from $12.4 billion to $13.4 billion - an 8% increase over FY19 and the President's proposed budget.Tell your House member to support this funding level. Read about the bill.

April 11, 2019: U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-NV) introduced the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act, to put Congress on a fiscally-responsible path to meet its obligation to fully fund Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on a mandatory basis over the next 10 years. Read all about it.

March 28, 2019: ED Secy Betsy DeVos testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee about the President's ED budget for FY2020. Watch it here.

March 27, 2019: Ten members of Congress introduce the bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act, S.866 and H.R.1878. Thanks to them all!

March 26, 2019: ED Secy Betsy DeVos testifies before the House Appropriations Committee about the President's ED budget for FY2020. Watch it here.

March 20, 2019: Education Commission of the States releases new report on state funding of special education. Across 50 states, there are 50 different ways in which states allocate special education funding to districts. View each state's profile here and the 50- state comparison here

March 11, 2019: White House releases President's Budget for FY2020. It proposes reducing Dept. of Ed funding by 10 percent overall while maintaining level funding for special education. Details here

February 12, 2019: House of Representatives Education & Labor Committee holds hearing on the nation's underpaid teachers and crumbling schools which included lots of discussion about the serious underfunding of IDEA. Watch the hearing here

February 1, 2019:  U.S. Dept. of Education releases new report on maintenance of effort (MOE) compliance across local school districts in states. See the report here.

December 3, 2018: U.S. Dept. of Education updates state-by-state allocations for special education funding for 2018 and 2019. See how your state fares (PDF, 3 pgs). 

November 7, 2018: 5th Circuit upholds feds' $33 million penalty for Texas decrease in special education funding. Details here.

October 2018: Congressional Research Service releases updated version of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Funding: A Primer.

September 14, 2018: U.S. Congress passes FY19 appropriations, gives boost to IDEA grants to states. The bill was signed into law on 9/28/2018 as Pub.L.115-245. Details here

June 5, 2018: U.S. Education Sec'y DeVos appears before Senate Appropriations Committee regarding the FY19 Budget request for education - which continues the severe under-funding of IDEA. The hearing can be watched here.

April 25, 2018: Our new interactive map provides state-by-state information on the federal funding provided to support states and districts in providing special education, the amount Congress promised to pay and the funding gap that must be filled by state and local dollars. Check it out.

March 23, 2018: IDEA gets tiny bump in FY18 Omnibus spending bill passed by Congress ... $13.1 billion up from $12.8 billion - no where close to what Congress promised. Here's a summary from NEA.

March 20, 2018: U.S. Education Sec'y DeVos appears before the House Appropriations Committee regarding the FY19 Budget request for education - which continues the severe under-funding of IDEA. The hearing can be watched live here

March 12, 2018: Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduces S. 2542, a bill to fully fund IDEA. Details here

February 12, 2018: Trump administration releases FY 2019 budget proposal, providing level funding for IDEA. Details on the funding request for IDEA is available from the NEA here.

February 7, 2018: National Council on Disability releases series of briefs on IDEA including "Broken Promises: The Underfunding of IDEA." 

June 15, 2017: Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduces H.R. 2902, a bill to fully fund IDEA. Details here.

May 25, 2017: National Governors Assoc. sends letter to Congress asking for support for funding for education including IDEA. Read their letter.

May 24, 2017: Ed Sec'y DeVos appears before House Appropriations Committee to discuss President's FY2018 Budget Request. 11 AM ET. Watch it here.

May 23, 2017: President's FY2018 Budget Request reduces IDEA funding by .9% - taking the federal contribution to below 15 percent for the first time since 2001. Read the details here (PDF).

May 1, 2017: Congress reaches agreement on bill to fund government for the balance of FY 2017. IDEA Part B Grants to states (Sec. 611) get slight increase of $90 million, bringing annual appropriation to $12 billion - an increase of .7 percent over FY 2016. Grants for Preschool (Sec. 619) ($368.2 million) and Grants for Infants and Families (Part C) ($458.6 million) remain unchanged from FY 2016. Meanwhile, the number of students served by all of these programs increased between 2014 and 2015. Read our Balance Sheet blog for additional details.

September 7, 2016: Congressional Research Service releases comprehensive report on IDEA funding - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Funding: A Primer.

March 2016: Our analysis of LEAs identified with significant disproportionality and required to use 15% of IDEA Part B federal funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services is available here

March 2, 2016: US ED releases proposed new regulations regarding the identification of LEAs as having significant disproportionality. The proposal also makes significant changes regarding how LEAs can spend IDEA Part B federal funds when identified. Comments must be submitted by May 16, 2016.

February 8, 2016: GAO releases new report, State and Local-Imposed Requirements Complicate Federal Efforts to Reduce Administrative Burden.

IDEA Money Watch is a project of The Advocacy Institute.
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