Learn How Budget Cuts Might Affect You

One of the most important trending topics in special education is the negative affect of federal budget cuts. Although federal budget cuts in education are nearly impossible to avoid, cuts to special education programs can be incredibly devastating. They can lead to teachers and aides getting laid off, increased class sizes, and the elimination of beneficial after-school programs.

Special Education Funding

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide special education services for all eligible students with disabilities. As a result of this law, federal funds are supposed to be distributed to special education through three state grant programs and other discretionary grant programs.

The main program of IDEA, Part B, helps to offset the costs of K-12 education for students with special needs. The system of distribution is a bit complicated and varies based on program, population, and socio-economic need (see a full explanation of the law here), but the main point of IDEA is to help students with disabilities receive a proper education.

However, the government has continually fallen short on their promise to aid in the cost of educating students with disabilities.

40% of funding is supposed to be provided, but in reality, the funding has not reached over 17%. Special education programs across the U.S. have lost a great deal of federal funding and continue to face budget cuts. They drastically affect the students who need the services special education provides. They also affect those who teach and work in special education.

Consequences of Budget Cuts

Unfortunately, if these cuts continue to happen, students with special needs will not receive the education that they need and deserve. Increased class sizes due to staff downsizing will make it more challenging for teachers to tend to the individual needs of each student. It can also lead to the elimination of after-school programs intended to provide social opportunities for students with special needs.

Although there is an overall projection for 6% growth in the industry, that growth can vary from state to state and even from district to district. It is distressing that an already underfunded program continues to face budget cuts, but the constant dedication special education teachers and staff have to their students is admirable. They prioritize the needs of their students, and by doing so, they change lives.

One of the most important trending topics in special education is the negative affect of federal budget cuts. Although federal budget cuts in education are nearly impossible to avoid, cuts to special education programs can be incredibly devastating. They can lead to teachers and aides getting laid off, increased class sizes, and the elimination of beneficial after-school programs.

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