Coalition Pushes Congress to Ease Special Education Funding Mandate in Light of Pandemic

Coalition Pushes Congress to Ease Special Education Funding Mandate in Light of Pandemic

May 27, 2020

A coalition of education organizations is pushing Congress “to waive a provision in federal law that requires school districts to maintain consistent funding levels for special education from year to year.” The “maintenance of effort” provision, part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is being singled out as presenting “particular challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.” Now, as schools rush to reorganize budgets and resources, many fear penalties for violating the provision, which does not have exceptions for pandemics. The letter calls on Congress “to include a waiver from the requirement in its next coronavirus relief package.” In it, education groups noted that the IDEA provision “is more ‘stringent’ than the requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act,” calling on Congress to provide more flexibility for school districts.