America’s future depends on a strong investment in education. Preparing our students to compete in the global economy requires proper funding and resources, a safe learning environment, and a committed local community. We must work on a bipartisan basis to make sure important programs like Head Start receive proper funding, maintain civil rights protections for students, support priorities like environmental education and high-speed broadband infrastructure while also assisting rural schools that have lost property tax revenue due to nearby federal property.
More than 6.5 million children are eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The federal government has committed to contributing 40 percent of the average per pupil expenditure for each special education student, but we have never met this funding target.
That’s why I’ve introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act every Congress since I was first elected. This bipartisan bill would require regular increases in special education funding to fulfill the government’s commitment. This bill will help ensure students with disabilities receive the support and resources they need to help them prepare for further education, employment, and independent living.
I also previously introduced the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act to support states that set up funding “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 by authorizing additional federal funding to help keep IDEA’s promise that every child with disabilities would have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
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