The Center fully supports the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act, which sets forth a plan to fully fund Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For over 40 years, federal funding for students with disabilities has fallen far short of the 40% target proposed by Congress when it enacted IDEA in 1975. In recent years, funding levels have remained below 15 percent of the cost of educating the average student with disabilities, leaving states and districts to make up the gap.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the inequities students with disabilities already face, and additional funding will be essential to addressing learning loss and missed services. The time is now to pass this legislation and begin providing districts and schools the funds they need to provide the education these students are guaranteed under law.
We urge Congress to pass this essential act, and if and when it is approved we stand ready to work with states, districts, and charter organizations to ensure these funds are leveraged to maximize their impact on students with disabilities.