Visit the IDEA Money Watch Blog for your state

Sign up for our
Email Newsletter

Welcome to IDEAMoneyWatch Print E-mail

IDEA Money Watch tracks the $11 billion in annual federal funds provided to states and local school districts for special education.


March 9, 2015: LEA MOE Reductions, Determinations and Use of Part B funds for CEIS data now available. Read the blog and get your data.

March 9, 2015: "Understanding Full Funding" explains what it is and how much your state is owed! Read it here

March 5, 2015: Education Commission of the States issues new report, A Look at Funding for Students with Disabilities.

March 4, 2015: ED Secretary Arne Duncan appears before the House Appropriations Committee to discuss the administration's FY 2016 Budget Request. View the archive of the hearing

February 2, 2015:
The Obama Administration releases its proposed FY 2016 Budget. See highlights of the funding requested for the Dept. of Education.

June 27, 2014:  New America Foundation releases new Policy Brief - Federal Funding for Students with Disabilities.

May 28, 2014: Committee for Education Funding's Response to the FY 2015 Budget Request includes this chart on the history of federal funding for IDEA vs. the commitment to provide 40% of the excess cost of special education. View it here.

April 30, 2014: House leaders request $1.5 billion increase for IDEA. Find out how much your state is owned! Read the Balance Sheet post.

March 4, 2014: President' 2015 budget request provides less than 1 percent increase for IDEA grants to states, keeps federal contribution at 16 percent of excess cost. Read the Balance Sheet post.

February 19, 2014: National Council on Disability and 139 members of the US Congress ask President Obama to increase funding for IDEA in forthcoming FY 15 budget.

January 27, 2014: New Mexico could lose more than $60 Million in special ed federal funding for violating rules on spending for special education services. Read the Santa Fe New Mexican article here. 

January 26, 2014: Education spending balloons but students in some states get more money than others according to a new report by Education Week. Read the Washington Post article here.

January 22, 2014: Congressional budget deal brings increase in IDEA Federal funding for FY 2014. Read our blog for details.

November 12, 2013: NDD United releases comprehensive report on impact of sequestration. Get the report here

November 4, 2013: Republican Senators Alexander and Cornyn request GAO study on implementation f the Maintenance of Effort requirement of IDEA for local school districts experiencing reductions in education funding. Read their letter here

September 18, 2013: U.S. Dept. of Ed proposes new amendments to IDEA Part B local maintenance of efforts requirements. Read a summary of the proposed amendments and how to submit comments.  

September 12, 2013: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that states’ new budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago — often far less. Read it here.

September 10, 2013: STATELINE reports on emerging signs of impact of sequestration on special education. Read it here

August 28, 2013: Sequestration really kicks in for the 2013-2014 school year. Read this ThinkProgress article for details from across the country. Tell us about more cuts to special education. 

July 1, 2013: Ohio Dept. of Education releases info on cuts for upcoming school year due to sequestration. IDEA will be reduced by $23 million. Check out details by program and district.

July 1, 2013: Broward County School District - the nation's 6th largest - announces special ed cutbacks due to sequestration. See how much your state will lose.

March 4, 2013: Stateline reports on the 5 states most vulnerable to sequestration's education cuts. They are North Dakota,  Mississippi, New Mexico, Idaho and South Dakota—the five states that rely most heavily on federal education money. Read the full story.

February 28, 2013: IDEA Cuts Begin Tomorrow! Find out how much your state will lose in IDEA funding, then contact your members of Congress to stop this madness.

September 17, 2012: OMB releases report on impact of sequestration, predicting a reduction of 8.2% to education programs. Read it here.

September 5, 2012: Fordham Institute releases new report, Boosting the Quality and Efficiency of Special Education. Read it here.

July 20, 2012: US Dept. of Education sends letter to Chief State School Officers regarding the impact of sequestration on several federal funding accounts that are advance funded, including IDEA. Read the letter here

April 19, 2012: We are tracking the $5 million planned reduction of local spending for special education in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Read about it here

April 4, 2012: U.S. Dept. of Education issues letter to the Center for Law and Education regarding IDEA maintenance of effort requirement for local school districts. Read our blog post and the letter here

April 2, 2012:  IDEA Money Watch releases Sequestration FAQs and potential cuts to IDEA funding for every state.

February 13, 2012: Obama released budget proposal for FY2012, forgets about special education. Read about it in our blog post.

February 3, 2012: IDEA Money Watch posts updated data on reductions to maintenance of effort (MOE) and use of IDEA funds for early intervening services in 2009. Visit our Balance Sheet blog post to get the data for each state and local district.

June 21, 2011:  The U.S. Dept. of Education has denied a request from Iowa for a waiver allowing the state to reduce its state financial aid to local school districts in 2010 and also adjust the waiver previously granted. More information.

June 17, 2011:  The U.S. Dept. of Education has denied a request from South Carolina for a waiver allowing the state to reduce its state financial aid to local school districts in 2010 and 2011. The state had requested a waiver for each of 3 consecutive years, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The waiver request for 2009 was granted. More information

June 16, 2011: IDEA Money Watch responds to a new report out of the American Enterprise Institute, "Something Has Got to Change," packed with interesting assertions, bad information, and food for thought. Read it here.

June 14, 2011: Stateline reports on education budgets across the nation. To date, governors have proposed a net of $2.5 billion in cuts to K-12 education and $5 billion in cuts to higher education, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. Read the story. 

April 12, 2011: U.S. Dept. of Education grants waivers to Alabama and New Jersey allowing these states to reduce financial support for special education to local school districts. Oregon's request was denied. The U.S. Dept. of Education has a new web page that details its procedures for considering state requests to reduce financial support to local districts due to economic hardship and lists the states that have made a waiver request, including all documentation and USED response.

April 5, 2011: Council for Exceptional Children releases results of national survey on economic impact on special education. Results show that school districts across the nation are struggling to meet the needs of students with disabilities despite IDEA Recovery Act funds. More.

February 16, 2011: Cuts to IDEA Grants to States in House Continuing Resolution spark a discussion between Hal Rogers and kids with disabilities. Washington Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers comes to the rescue.

November 30, 2010: The Advocacy Institute and the Center for Law and Education Issue Letter to US ED. The letter asks OSEP Director, Dr. Melody Musgrove, to review current guidance provided by the U.S. Dept. of Education to States on monitoring of local educational agencies (LEAs) and references CLE's August 2009 memorandum challenging USED Guidance to States...Read the letter and memorandum here.

July 2010: GAO Recovery Act report finds States could provide more information on education programs to enhance the public’s understanding of fund use ... and provides 50 summaries from local districts on how they're spending their funds. Get the report here

June 2010: ARRA funds shift from "innovation" to "preservation." In a June Technical Assistance Webinar, the U.S. ED encouraged states and districts to show "courage" in using stimulus funds to hire personnel and minimize layoffs in the upcoming 2010-11 school year. More here.

May 2010: "Investing Wisely and Quickly" ... This report from the Council of Great City Schools provides results from a survey of forty (40) Great City School districts that received a total of $7.3 billion in IDEA, Title I, and State Fiscal Stabilization Funds via the Recovery Act. Get details here.

Stimulating Equity? A report from the Campaign for Educational Equity recommends another round of ARRA funding for education...but first, close the IDEA MOE loophole! Get the full report here.

IDEA Money Watch on Rose Moore Show ... Candace Cortiella and Mark Halpert discuss IDEA Recovery Act issues on the Rose Moore Internet Radio Show. Listen here

January 6, 2010: Wall Street Journal runs this story about the redirecting of special education funds provided to local districts by the Recovery Act. IDEA Money Watch contributed to the development of this story. Read it here

December 2009: GAO Report finds half of eligible LEAs plan to reduce local sped spending, more...investigated the "Status of States’ and Localities’ Use of Funds and Efforts to Ensure Accountability" by conducting a survey of 16 states and certain localities in those jurisdictions, as well as the District of Columbia. Findings showed roughly half of eligible LEAs plan to reduce local spending on special education as allowable under the IDEA. Several States reported changing the process used to make LEA determinations. Read the report here. The GAO also issues bimonthly reviews of use of Recovery Act funds in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Check out your state's report here

October 21, 2009: U.S.ED releases letter to State Chiefs and State Sped Directors re MOE Reduction...US Education Secretary Arne Duncan releases a Letter to Chief State School Officers and State Directors of Special Education urging states to maintain high standards and not compromise the section 616 determination process under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  in view of the large increase in IDEA Part B federal funds that LEAs are receiving as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Read the letter here.

September 4, 2009: U.S.ED New Guidance on Use of IDEA ARRA Funds...clarifies that all IDEA Part B funds must be used only to pay the excess costs of providing FAPE to children with disabilities. Guidance on RTI also clarifies use of IDEA funds for this purpose. 

July 13, 2009: Capital Hill Briefing on IDEA ARRA Funds:: Multiple Perspectives...At this July forum, IDEA Money Watch founder, Candace Cortiella, participated in a panel discussion on use of ARRA funds for special education. Full story here

American Association of School Administrators :: Top five reported uses for ARRA IDEA funds...A survey of 160 school administrators conducted in July and August 2009 reports on how districts are using education Recovery Act funds. Read the Press Release here. Get the survey results here.



Blog Bytes

IDEA Money Watch Blog :: The Balance Sheet

> LEA MOE Reductions, Determinations and CEIS data for 2011-2012
> Understanding Full Funding of IDEA
> President's Budget Provides Less than 1% boost for IDEA

> Budget Deal brings IDEA increase
> Advocate/Activist's Call to Action
> New Report on Impact of Sequestration
> US Dept. of Ed proposes new regulations for LEA MOE
> State-by-state IDEA funding cuts under Sequestration
> US Dept. of Ed retracts MOE guidance challenged by IDEA Money Watch!
> Senate gives IDEA funding a boost
> Obama ignores special ed, again!
> Can You Say "Sequestration?"
> Comments to National Council on Disability
> Money Doesn't Trump Blame Game
> Deal or No Deal: ED's new info on LEA MOE provisions
> IDEA Money Watch responds to AEI report on Special Education Spending

> Meet the ARRA Albatross
> Funding Cliff Comes to New Hanover

LEA reductions in MOE
> State by state data available here
> 100 Largest School District info here

State MOE Waiver Requests ::
AL, IA (FY10), IA (FY11) KS, NJ, OR, SC, WV

Tutorial :: Understanding the Impact of IDEA Federal Funds and ARRA Funds over Time

Video :: The Business of Special Education

MOE Basics ::  Essential info on IDEA Maintenance of Effort

IDEA Money Watch hits YouTube

WI: Milwaukee Schools announced big cuts for 2012

NC: New Hanover district plans big cuts to special education

NY: State shifts special ed costs to districts

TX: Districts cut sped in spite of stimulus

KS may forfeit federal funds due to budget reduction

AZ's Gilbert SD announces cuts

FL district announces layoffs

GA district cuts teachers and paras

HI cuts special ed jobs for 09-10

IA district to eliminate special ed jobs 

IN districts announce special education cuts

IL's Chicago needs more Stimulus Oversight

KY district hands out "Wish Lists" Grants

OH districts buy technology with ARRA

CO BOCES uses IDEA ARRA Funds to pay for mismanagement

UT district buys computers that sit in boxes

MO district uses IDEA Funds Unwisely

VA district uses IDEA Funds for Co-Teaching PD

KPS4Parents, Inc. gives IDEA Money Watch 2 thumbs up!

LEA Ratings for every state:

IL, MI and MO announce LEA Rating Changes