Legislative News: Archive
Schools and the Stimulus:
Restrictions on Special Education funding prompt complaints that some districts won't get stimulus money under performance rankings.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act says that when federal funding increases, school districts can shift a portion of their local special education money to other educational purposes. With more than $12 billion in IDEA aid coming from the federal government under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act over two years, districts were expecting a lot of relief. But the U.S. Department of Education has told the states some districts don't have that flexibility after all. In the terminology used in the federal law, those districts are not providing a "free, appropriate public education." The department ranks each state's special education performance based on a series of indicators, and states, in turn, rank their districts based on the same indicators. If a state determines that a district is not meeting targets in the state's performance plan, the state must prohibit that district from reducing its "maintenance of effort" in spending, according to the Education Department.
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