Congress Introduces Legislation to Fully Fund IDEA
Urge Your Representative and Senators to Cosponsor the IDEA Full Funding Act Today
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) this week introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to finally ensure Congress’ commitment to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). AACTE is a strong supporter of this legislation and has called for Congress to fully fund IDEA to help support students with disabilities.
Congress passed IDEA in 1975 to ensure that every child with a disability has access to educational opportunity. The legislation called for the federal government to pay 40% of the average per pupil expenditure for special education. However, the federal government has never met that aspiration and current funding is at just 15.7%. The IDEA Full Funding Act would require regular increases in IDEA spending to finally meet our commitment to America’s children and schools.
To date, the House version has 17 bipartisan cosponsors, while the Senate version has 26 cosponsors (all Democrats). The bill must pass both chambers and be signed by President Biden to become law. It is unclear when either chamber will vote on the legislation.