AASA Executive Director Issues Statement On IDEA


James Minichello 
703-774-6953 (cell) 

Alexandria, Va. – June 15, 2017 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act, a legislative proposal that would help Congress realize its commitment to investing in education for students with special needs. When passed in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), committed Congress to pay 40 percent of the additional cost associated with educating students with special needs. The closest Congress has come to this commitment is 18 percent in 2005, and its federal share is at 15 percent for the 2017-18 school year.

Led by U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), the original bill co-sponsors include Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) The IDEA Full Funding Act is a seven-year plan to help Congress reach its stated goal.

The chronic underfunding of IDEA by the federal government places an additional funding burden on states, local school districts and taxpayers to pay for needed services. This often means using local budget dollars to cover the federal shortfall, shortchanging other school programs that students with disabilities often also benefit from. In addition to providing ‘full funding’ for students with disabilities, this bill will free up hundreds of millions of dollars at the state and local level.

Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement on the introduction of the IDEA Full Funding Act.

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