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NEA supports mandatory full funding of IDEA

NEA supports mandatory full funding of IDEA and has proposed to achieve that by phasing in funding increases over six years until it reaches the level originally authorized by Congress more than 25 years ago.

Ever since its initial enactment in 1975, the federal law has included, and still includes today, a commitment to pay 40 percent of the average per student cost for every special education student. The current average per student cost is $7,552 and the average cost per special education student is an additional $9,369 per student, or $16,921.

Yet, in 2003, the federal government is providing local school districts with just under 18 percent of its commitment rather than the 40 percent, creating a $10.6 billion shortfall for states and local school districts.

States and localities cannot provide students with disabilities the quality of programs they need and often must cut other critical programs or raise taxes in order to provide mandated services.

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