Huffman, DeSaulnier Introduce IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act for 40th Anniversary of IDEA

November 17, 2015

Washington, DCOn the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Congressmen Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) today introduced innovative new legislation to help cover the exceptional costs that can be associated with educating high-need children. The new bill, the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act, would provide additional support to states that set up “pools” to help reimburse local schools for special educational services that are three times or more the average per pupil expenditure. This legislation builds on the historic civil rights law, known as IDEA, by authorizing additional federal funding to help keep the law’s promise that every child with disabilities would have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

“Forty years after the passage of IDEA, Congress has failed to meet its commitment to our students and teachers by not providing school districts with the resources they need,” Huffman said. “The success of this historic civil rights law cannot be fully met unless all children have the educational services they need to excel. This bill will ensure that our schools are properly reimbursed for providing a first-class education to every child, including those services that come with exceptional costs.”

“IDEA represented the federal government’s promise to provide schools with the money they need to educate our disabld students. Despite their need and continued advocacy by myself and like-minded colleagues like Congressman Huffman, we are not meeting this goal. This bill is a step toward rectifying this wrong and delivering on that promise to ensure that children have the resources they need to thrive in school,” said DeSaulnier

“The National Center for Learning Disabilities commends the leadership of Representative Huffman and Representative DeSaulnier in introducing the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act. Lack of resources should never stand in the way of a child reaching his or her potential. This legislation recognizes the importance of investing in special education, both for America’s six million students with disabilities and for its impact on all students,” stated James H. Wendorf, Executive Director, National Center for Learning Disabilities.

“We thank Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Mark DeSaulneir (D-CA) for their leadership shown today with the introduction of the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act. While we continue to push to fully fund the federal commitment to IDEA, establishing a high cost pool for states recognizes that costs vary from student to student when providing the supports, resources, and one-on-one instruction to students with disabilities that would help states provide the most costly services for our students most in need,” said Mary Kusler, Director of Government Relations, National Education Association.

The legislation is supported by the National Education Association, National School Boards Association, California School Boards Association, National Center for Learning Disabilities, and Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.

Huffman is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act and has led several bipartisan funding letters. Last Congress, Huffman offered an amendment to boost funding for special education by $102 billion over 10 years.