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  • Bill in House Aims to Hold Feds to Special Education Funding Obligations

    Think that the US government should live up to its promises when it comes to funding educational needs of students with disabilities? So does a bipartisan group of legislators who have introduced a bill that would obligate the government to pay what it promised to pay according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). APTA is among the many organizations supporting the legislation.

    Called the IDEA Full Funding Act (HR 2902), the bill seeks to ensure that the federal government pay 40% of the average per-pupil expenditure for special education, the percentage establish in the IDEA, signed into law in 1975. Federal contributions have consistently fallen short of the 40% mark, with the most recent federal funding only representing about 15.7% of expenditures.

    The legislation was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Reps Jared Huffman (D-CA), David McKinley (R-WV), Tim Walz (D-MN), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and John Katko (R-NY). Similar legislation will be introduced in the US Senate by Sen Van Hollen (D-MD).

    "The law guarantees every student the right to a free and appropriate public education, but Congress needs to provide the resources to make that guarantee meaningful." said Huffman in a press release. "That’s why I’m joining with my colleagues from across the aisle to introduce the IDEA Full Funding Act, because we know that providing our children with a first-class education should not be a partisan issue. The bottom line is this: no child should ever be denied a quality education, or be kept from reaching their full potential, because they have a disability."

    APTA is among the long list of organizations advocating for full funding of IDEA. That list includes the American Federation of Teachers, American Music Therapy Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, American Psychological Association, American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association, National Association of Social Workers, National Down Syndrome Congress, and National Education Association.

    APTA will monitor the bill's progress and report on developments as they happen.

    Comments

    • Hello, I am very happy the APTA is supporting this. I am very passionate about supporting individuals with disabilities and think they deserve the right to a full public education. -Tony M, SPT-Shenandoah University, 2019

      Posted by Tony Moulder on 6/21/2017 5:43 PM

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