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Press Release

NEA president: Now is the time to fully fund IDEA

Pringle: “The moment has never been more urgent.”
Published: 03/23/2021

WASHINGTON —NEA President Becky Pringle released the following statement in support of the “Fulfill the Promise” coalition’s Class Petition for Guidance demanding federal guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.)

“For nearly 50 years, our nation has failed to live up to the promises we made to honor the civil rights of students with disabilities. The pandemic has shone a light on the ways we fall short in providing opportunity to these students and their families, especially students of color. The moment has never been more urgent. As in-person instruction resumes, schools must prioritize meeting the needs of these students-- the academic and social and emotional-- so that rather than further entrenching these longstanding inequities, we begin to remedy them. We must fulfill the promise of IDEA by fully funding the federal government’s share of free and appropriate education services and providing federal funding to assess and meet section 504 needs.”

Earlier this month, NEA released a report in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers, titled “Learning Beyond COVID-19,” defining the necessary elements to effectively understand and address the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted students’ academic and developmental experiences, including a section on meeting the needs of students with disabilities.

Learn more about the Fulfill the Promise coalition and the class petition at


The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.