IDEA Full Funding Act Introduced

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S. 1403, The IDEA Full Funding Act, which would increase the federal share of special education funding up to 40% by 2021. When the original Education for All Handicapped Children Act, PL 94-142, was passed in 1975, the federal government was supposed to help pay for up to 40% of the costs of providing a free, appropriate public education to all children with disabilities. The funding has never reached that level and is about 16% of the costs today with states picking up the remaining costs. Given states’ economic challenges, several states have asked for permission to cut special education funding. S. 1403 would increase taxes on cigarettes and small cigars to pay for the additional funding. The bill has 13 co-sponsors, all Democrats.

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