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Scant Increase for Special Education in President's Proposed Budget

President Barack Obama released his proposed fiscal 2014 budget today, and while there's a substantial boost in funding for early-childhood education programs, funding for special education through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act would remain just about flat.

The budget proposal would allocate $11.6 billion to Part B of the special education law, which covers the nation's 6.6 million students ages 3 to 21 with disabilities. Part C of the law, which covers children from birth to age 2 and their families, would receive a $20 million increase from fiscal year 2012 in this budget, bringing its allocation to about $463 million. About 453,000 infants and toddlers are served through IDEA Part C. The final budget numbers for fiscal 2013, which include automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, have not yet been released by the Department of Education.

The Education Department budget summary contains other programs that may be of interest to the special education community, including a proposal to spend $3.3 billion on vocational rehabilitation state grants intended to boost the number of people with disabilities in the workforce (a $71.1 million increase over fiscal 2013); about $47 million, or level funding compared to fiscal 2012, for special education technical assistance programs; and $137 million, for a grant program that supports independent living services, which also reflects level funding compared to fiscal 2012.

Correction: this blog post has been updated to reflect correct numbers for proposal to fund for special education technical assistance programs.

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