March 11, 2016

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AASA joins 23 National Organizations Urging FY17 Investments in IDEA

Earlier today, AASA joined 23 other national organizations in sending a letter to Congressional appropriators, urging them to prioritize investment in IDEA. You can read the full letter.

In urging increased federal investment above and beyond the President's proposed freezing of IDEA, the groups write: "Since its inception in 1975, IDEA has protected students with disabilities by ensuring access to a free appropriate public education.  At the time the statute was enacted, Congress promised to pay 40 percent of the National Average per Pupil Expenditure. While special education funding has received significant increases over the past 15 years, including a one-time infusion of funds included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal funding has leveled off recently and has even been cut. The closest the federal government has come to reaching its 40 percent commitment was 18 percent in 2005. This means that the President’s proposed funding level for FY 17 is below that of more than a decade ago. The chronic underfunding of IDEA by the federal government places an additional funding burden on states and local school districts 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." 

Other groups signing the letter include: 

  • American Art Therapy Association
  • American Council for School Social Work
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
  • American Music Therapy Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Association of Educational Service Agencies
  • Association of School Business Officials International
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Council of Great City Schools
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Association of Pupil Services Administrators
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Association of School Nurses
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  • National Education Association 
  • National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition
  • National Rural Education AssociationNational School Boards Association


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