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ERIC Number: EJ940706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep-14
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Rules Relaxed on Budget Cuts to Special Education
Shah, Nirvi
Education Week, v31 n3 p1, 23 Sep 2011
The author reports on controversial new guidance issued by the federal government which will allow districts to make permanent cuts in special education spending. In the past, federal law was interpreted to mean that once a district set its special education budget, it could not be reduced permanently except for very specific reasons. The so-called maintenance-of-effort provision was built into special education spending rules to buffer students with disabilities from changes in services triggered by the ups and downs of public spending and politics. One of the few exceptions to the maintenance-of-effort rule is when a district experiences an actual decrease in expenses, such as when an experienced, highly paid special education teacher retires or a high-needs student leaves a district. Cutting the special education budget for almost any other reason meant a district was running the risk of losing its share of federal funds. However, a letter to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education in June from the Education Department now says otherwise. A district "is not obligated to expend at least the amount expended in the last fiscal year for which it met the maintenance-of-effort requirement. In other words, each year's [district] maintenance-of-effort obligation is based on the actual amount expended in the immediate prior fiscal year," wrote Melody Musgrove, the director of the office of special education programs.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A