Oct 15

Reps. Huffman, DeSaulnier Reintroduce Legislation to Fund Special Educational Services


For Immediate Release
October 15, 2019
Mary Hurrell, (202) 225-5187, mary.hurrell@mail.house.gov


Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) reintroduced the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act, innovative legislation to help cover the exceptional costs that can be associated with educating special needs children.

This legislation builds on the historic assurance of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the civil rights law known as IDEA, that every child with disabilities must be given the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. The IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act authorizes additional federal funding to help keep the law’s promise, providing support to states that set up “pools” to help reimburse local schools for special educational services that are three times or more the average per pupil expenditure.

“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has helped children with disabilities receive the educational services and resources they need to be successful in school,” said Representative Huffman. “Sadly, the federal government has never lived up to its commitments to provide schools and teachers with the resources required for all children to excel and live meaningful lives. The IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act will ensure that our schools receive reimbursement for these services so they can continue to meet special education needs and help students reach their full potential.”

“Across my district, I have repeatedly heard from educators that their budgets do not go far enough to help students with disabilities. The federal government has a moral obligation to step in and help. Efforts like this one can help us fulfill our promise to provide a quality education to all children,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.

“We commend Representative Huffman for his leadership in introducing the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act. At the heart of IDEA is the recognition that every child is unique and the educational supports and services they need will be unique. However, a lack of resources should never stand in the way of a child reaching his or her potential. This legislation will help ensure that schools are set up to successfully meet the needs of every child, no matter the cost.” said Lindsay Jones, President & CEO, National Center for Learning Disabilities.

“The National School Boards Association appreciates the leadership of Representatives Mark DeSaulnier and Jared Huffman in introducing the IDEA High Cost Pools Funding Act. This legislation will provide greater flexibility and federal resources in helping our school districts fulfill special education priorities for almost seven million students,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director & CEO of the National School Boards Association. “The IDEA High Cost Pools Funding Act will help our public schools close achievement gaps and advance equity in education.”

“We applaud Congressman Huffman for re-introducing this bill. Students with significant needs are entitled to the same quality education that any other students receive, and this bill is a big step towards ensuring that they receive it. This additional funding will improve the capacity of all schools, including charter schools, to serve all students,” said Lauren Morando Rhim, executive director, The Center for Learner Equity.

“As an educational right under IDEA, schools are required to provide a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities.  Unfortunately, the federal share of IDEA funding has fallen to less than 14 percent, making this mandate a difficult goal to accomplish. The IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act would provide added relief to school districts facing the underfunding of IDEA and elevates the need for Congress to fully fund IDEA at its 40 percent commitment.  NEA applauds Reps. Huffman and DeSaulnier for their leadership on this issue.” said Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations, National Education Association.