Wyden adds support for more federal special education funding
Thursday, March 15, 2018
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) announced Wednesday he is co-sponsoring legislation to increase federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
IDEA guarantees equal education access for students with disabilities. The 1975 act promised the federal government would pay 40 percent of the average special education student expenditure. Current funding is at 15.7 percent, and the 40 percent threshold has never been reached.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act to gradually ramp up the federal contribution to 40 percent by 2027.
For the current fiscal year, Oregon received $141 million in IDEA grants, according to the Oregon Department of Education. At the 40 percent level, Oregon would have received an additional $236 million.
OSBA and the National School Boards Association, along with more than a dozen national education advocacy groups, praised the bill.
“We really appreciate Sen. Wyden’s support on this,” said OSBA Executive Director Jim Green. “He recognizes that schools need the federal government to step up and honor their commitment.”