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Special Education Funding Flat in New Proposed Budget

President Obama's budget for fiscal 2011, released last week, would keep special education funding at pretty much the same level as the previous year, which disappointed advocates who had hoped the administration would provide "full funding" of the law.

"The Council for Exceptional Children commends the president for sending the nation a clear signal that he is serious about education," Deborah Ziegler, the associate executive director for policy and advocacy at CEC, an advocacy group for special educators, said in a written statement. "But we are disheartened to see the president did not use this opportunity to fulfill his campaign commitment to fully fund special education and early-intervention programs."

The proposed budget would give $11.8 billion for the grants to states program, an increase of $250 million over the 2010 appropriation.

The stimulus law had given districts a burst of special education funding that will expire in FY 2011. This infusion of funds brought funding levels close to what is considered "full funding," or 40 percent of the national per pupil average. Without new budget increases, school districts are facing a funding cliff—the point when the stimulus money runs out.

Here is a link to the proposed budget for special education.

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