Bayer: Congress needs to fully fund disability education

LANSING — Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) today introduced a resolution that calls upon Congress to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Passed in 1997, IDEA allows children with disabilities the opportunity to receive a quality education and develop the necessary skills to participate in modern social, economic, and political life. As passed, it requires the federal government to fund 40% of the extra costs of special education, but currently only 14.6% of is being covered despite a 25% increase in the number of students served.

“For so many families, the only thing offering hope to their children with disabilities is a day at school and a chance to realize their full potential,” Sen. Bayer said. “Our students and teachers suffer when the federal government fails to live up to its educational funding commitments. If we fully restore funding under the IDEA law, school districts would be able to devote more resources to classrooms and teachers to benefit entire communities.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, IDEA has allowed a majority of children with disabilities the chance to receive an education in their neighborhood classrooms. Because of the law, children with disabilities are graduating high school at a 14% higher rate than they did in 1984. The law has also sharply increased enrollment in postsecondary schools for people with disabilities. 


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