As a therapist, I often run into the challenges to get the children and adolescents the services that they need. How do you in times of limited budgets, get the funding needed for IEP and the services that go along with special education.
In a nutshell, in good times and hard times, schools always claim they are “cash strapped.” This has gone on for so long – decades – that people don’t question it. Less than two years ago, the feds provided a huge infusion of federal funds to education AND special education, and increased the amount of federal funding long term.
Some states have refused the funds. Others have left the money in the pot, saying they MAY withdraw it later. The feds require states and school districts to
- use the funds for designated purposes and/or
- account for how they spend the money
Because some schools don’t want to comply with the accounting requirements, they are not inclined to withdraw the funds.
During the boom, because teachers had to buy supplies for their students, Congress added a tax exemption for these expenses. The situation is bizarre.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post on this topic. When Cash Strapped School Districts Sing the Blues at https://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=4242
If you scroll down to the comments after the post, you’ll find this comment:
Go to the US DOE’s website and do a search for the name of your state superintendent and find the IDEA grant award letter for your state. We could educate entire third world countries for the money they get…..we are talking about BILLIONS of dollars PER STATE per year!
According to this link this state, is getting, “$11,505,211,000 appropriated for Section 611 in FFY 2010″ YEP, it is BILLION!
Here is the link to this state’s award letter, parents be prepared to be FLOORED:
According to the letter SusanB posted:
“The amount in your award for Section 619 represents the full amount of funds to which you are entitled. However, the amount shown in your award for the Section 611 program is only part of the total funds that will be awarded to you for FFY 2010. Of the $11,505,211,000 appropriated for Section 611 in FFY 2010, $2,912,828,000 is available for awards on July 1, 2010, and $8,592,383,000 will be available for awards on October 1, 2010.”
So much for the cash-strapped, “unfunded mandate” excuse for not educating children with disabilities.
Where Is the Money Going?
After SusanB posted this link, a SLP added a comment about her request for supplies – no money, yet the district is getting many thousands of dollars per child. She wondered “where the money is going?” Good question. It isn’t going to the students or teachers.
If you hunt in the DOE site, you can find the letter that describes federal funding for your state. Prepare to be shocked. This is a sorry state of affairs.