On December 26th, President Obama signed the 2-year budget deal proposed by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray. The bipartisan budget deal will restore about $22.5 billion in fiscal year 2014 of the $26 billion in non-defense discretionary funding cut out of the budget in fiscal year 2013. While it’s still uncertain what exactly this will look like for special education programs, it’s definitely a positive sign given that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been cut by about $600 million.
What we do know is that special education has been heavily impacted by the “Sequester” cuts. Due to receiving more federal than local funds, some districts have been hit harder than other but almost all of them have felt some negative impact due to the sequester cuts. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 special education teachers documenting the impact of the sequester cuts on special education programs across the country, which have resulted in larger class sizes, decreased services and placement changes for many students.
Hopefully, with the relief from the sequester and the implementation of cost-effective tools like Conover Online, together we can help special education students receive the free appropriate public education that they are entitled to and deserve under the IDEA law.
How has your district been impacted by sequester cuts? Let us know in the comments!