Congress Introduces Full Funding Bill for Special Education

Earlier this week, U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA), along with Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act, which would commit the Federal Government to increasing special education funding over the next 10 years and ensure Congress fulfills its promise to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

According to Representative Huffman’s office, the bill “would require regular, mandatory increases in IDEA spending to finally meet our obligation to America’s children and schools.” Specifically, under the bill, funding increases would start in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2024, with Congress required to fund 14.2% of special education costs, and continue through FFY 2033, when funding would reach 40% of costs. The federal government currently funds less than 13% of special education costs. 

This is not the first time that Representative Huffman has introduced legislation to require Congress to meet its commitment under IDEA but the current dynamics in Congress mean this most recent introduction is largely symbolic. Though special education funding is often a bipartisan issue, with the debt ceiling deal capping FFY 2024 spending at FFY 2023 levels, and the House proposing funding levels even lower than that (see yesterday's update), odds of the bill's ultimate passage into law are low. Despite the bill's steep uphill climb, this is still a great opportunity to raise awareness on the historically inadequate federal funding for special education students and services.

Let us know if you have any questions.




Caitlin Jung 

Legislative Counsel | Capitol Advisors Group