As the fiscal battles on Capitol Hill took a turn for the worse over the last few days, the U.S. Department of Education took steps to ensure that $22 Billion in funding for IDEA, Title I and Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and Career and Technical Education would be made available to states today, in keeping with the regular schedule.
But, today – and until the Federal government becomes operational again – the U.S. Department of Education has furloughed 90% of its employees and has stated that a shutdown of more than one week will “severely curtail the cash flow to school districts, colleges and universities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on the Department’s funds to support their services.” While IDEA funds have been provided to the states despite the federal closure, many of these other programs provide support for children and youth with disabilities.
The shutdown of the federal government and the uncertainty it creates for states and school districts couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just this year, over $600 million was cut from federal special education programs due to the automatic funding cuts known as sequestration. Join us in calling on Congress to invest – not cut – special education!
While schools are mostly funded through local and state sources, we know that school districts rely on federal funding to share in the cost of providing early intervention, special education and related services, and any threat to this funding further exacerbates an already tight budget situation.
Stay tuned for continued updates !