In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The "skinny" budget blueprint released by the Trump administration Thursday would maintain current spending levels for special education—about $13 billion, most of which is money sent directly to states.
The budget blueprint is just the beginning of a long process. While this document shows the administration's priorities, it is Congress that ultimately passes spending legislation. And lawmakers have their own ideas about what programs should be cut, and which should be kept.
But, if these funding amounts were to stay in place, the federal contribution for special education and related services would be about 16 percent of the excess costs of educating a student with a disability, compared to a general education student.
The Trump administration does propose reducing impact aid, which gives money to school districts that have a large federal presence. Federal property is exempt from local taxes, so impact aid is meant to help make up for tax revenue that cannot be collected by state and local taxing authorities. In fiscal 2016, about $48 million of the $1.3 billion allotted for impact aid was designated specifically for educating students with disabilities.