With a new rule, federal education officials are telling schools not to skimp on funding for special education.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, schools are required to spend at least as much on special education as they did the prior year. Those that fail to maintain or increase their funding for special education from one year to the next without receiving an exemption from the U.S. Department of Education can miss out on federal funding.
Now the Education Department is clarifying that in cases where school districts run afoul of the spending requirement known as “maintenance of effort” for any given year, they are still expected to achieve the original, higher funding level for future years.
“The department continues to believe that when (a school district) fails to maintain its required level of expenditures, the level of expenditures required in future fiscal years is the amount that would have been required in the absence of that failure, and not the (school district’s) actual expenditures in the fiscal year in which it failed to meet the compliance standard,” the agency said in a rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register.