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This new special ed-linked bill will hopefully pass, make a difference

It’s payback, long overdue.

That’s certainly one way to look at prospective federal legislation geared toward augmenting state coffers being stockpiled with funds targeting students’ special education needs.

And legions of supporters in California and nationally think that such a view is both reasonable and justified. Criticism has long been leveled at federal regulators for not meaningfully supporting a program they themselves authored.

That initiative is what centrally drives American special education. Termed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA was enacted as law several decades ago. Its goal, as noted recently by one California legislator: to help children with disabilities “receive the educational services and resources they need to be successful in school.”

That lawmaker and many others say that the feds have abjectly failed in promoting that goal, coupling heady rhetoric with a disappointing level of financial support to states that badly need help. California Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2nd District) states that, “Sadly, the federal government has never lived up to its commitment to provide schools and teachers with the resources required for all children to excel and lead meaningful lives.”

IDEA’s High Cost Pool Funding Act will hopefully rectify that. Reportedly, congressionally mandated funding for special education supports states to the tune of only about 15%. HR 4673 provides for additional cash infusions into state coffers that is intended to materially spike that low help-linked percentage. If passed, the new law will provide for added support to states that create their own funding pools for schools already tasked with inordinately high special education spending.

We will keep readers duly apprised of any material HR 4673 updates that occur.

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