Senator Van Hollen and Representative Lee Introduce Special Education Funding
This Wednesday, Senator Van Hollen (D-MD), in conjunction with Representative Susie Lee (D-NV), reintroduced the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act, an initiative to fully fund Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The bill would roughly triple Title I funding over 10 years and put IDEA onto a 10-year glidepath to full funding (40% of the cost of special education as mandated by IDEA), which is currently only being funded at 13.8%.
Upon introduction, Van Hollen remarked, “Congress made a historic commitment when it passed Title I and IDEA, but to hold up our end of the bargain, we must fully fund these critical programs to support students in lower-income neighborhoods and students with disabilities. Now more than ever – as inequities in our education system widen due to the COVID-19 pandemic – it’s time to get this done.”
The Council of Exceptional Children is a vocal supporter of fully funding IDEA and endorsed this legislation. CEC President Denis Cavitt Ed.D. remarked, “this bill would make enormous strides toward a more equitable system for all students and school personnel, and notably, for students with disabilities and special educators. I am excited at the momentum and enthusiasm driving this bill forward.”