The IDEA Full Funding Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 27, calling on the federal government to create a 10-year timetable to significantly increase its share of national special education spending.
In 1975, Congress committed to paying 40 percent of national special education spending when it passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the nation’s primary special education law.
The federal government has never come close to this goal, leaving state and local governments to pick up the tab. Under the new bill, the federal government would increase its current share – 16. 1 percent for the current fiscal year – to 40 percent over the next decade.
“We are proud to introduce the IDEA Full Funding Act to ensure that the federal government pays its fair share of the costs of educating students with disabilities,” the representatives said in a news release. “Forty years ago, the government committed to supporting our students and the teachers who work to help every American child reach their full potential.
“This legislation will guarantee funding increases for IDEA to ensure that our schools fulfill the promise of a first-class education for every child.”
A companion bill was introduced earlier in January by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), according to Disability Scoop.
The House bill sponsors are Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), David McKinley (R-WV), Tim Walz (D-MN), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Dave Reichert (R-WA).