Alabama requests waiver to reduce state support of special education

The Alabama Dept. of Education has sent a letter to the US Dept. of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) requesting a waiver to allow it to reduce its state support of special education to local school districts for fiscal 2010.

As we reported in The Balance Sheet Blog, Show Us the Waivers!, states may not reduce their financial support of special education to local school districts unless approved by the US Dept. of Ed.

According to the undated letter – obtained by Education Week – the state has suffered a reduction in its Education Trust Fund, which is used to support programs from kindergarten though 12th grade as well as postsecondary education. The letter appears to request a waiver to reduce its state support of special education by 9.5% – the amount of the overall reduction in the Education Trust Fund – for fiscal year 2010 (which ended Sept. 30, 2010).

If history is any indication, Alabama won’t get off with submission of a one-page letter! Other states that have requested waivers – Kansas, Iowa, West Virginia and South Carolina to date – have been required to submit lengthy documentation in support of their requests.

In June of this year the U.S. Dept. of Education has released a statement detailing its procedures in considering state requests to reduce financial support to local districts due to economic hardship.

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