At least three states have asked for permission to cut back on the money they provide districts for special education, under a built-in escape clause in the federal special education law that is aimed at financially struggling states.
Iowa and Kansas have both been granted a waiver, which under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can be given out in “exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances such as a natural disaster or a precipitous and unforeseen decline in the financial resources of a state.”
South Carolina has requested a waiver, but the U.S. Department of Education has asked the state for more information before making a decision. Both the waiver requests and the department’s responses were reported earlier this year by the blog IDEA Money Watch, a project of the Washington area Advocacy Institute, which supports parents of children with disabilities.
Special education advocates say this is the first time they’re aware of economic-hardship waivers being granted