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Education Department Releases IDEA Guidance on Stimulus

Schools and the StimulusThe U.S. Department of Education has put out a 22-page set of guidelines (pdf) on how to spend stimulus dollars for the Individuals With Disabilities Act, Part B (5- to 21-year-olds) and Section 619 (3- to 5-year-olds) States will receive $11.7 billion over the next two years for these programs.

There are also guidelines (pdf) for stimulus funding for IDEA Part C (infants and toddlers). That program will receive $500 million over two years.

The guidance is written in a convenient question-and-answer format, and I will be digging further into it a little later. I invite readers to do the same, particular in the IDEA part B section on "maintenance of effort," which are questions D-6 through D-12.

It appears to me that states may be able to use a portion of their special education stimulus money to reduce state funding of special education. That much was known. However, I didn't know that states would have the option to continue funding special education at that reduced level even when the two-year stimulus funding is gone, which is what this guidance seems to suggest. I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts on this.

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