Ch 1_The fed government_Statistics

The federal government has not delivered on its promise to provide full funding

Federal laws that guarantee equal access and protect the rights of students with disabilities are most effective when schools receive adequate funding to provide essential services and supports. Yet as the number of students with disabilities has increased, the federal government has made drastic cuts to education spending. And Congress has never come close to fulfilling its promise to fund 40% of the extra cost of special education.

In 2016, the federal government covered 16% of the extra cost of special education, leaving states to grapple with this multibillion-dollar shortfall.5

As schools struggle to provide the services that children with disabilities need—and that federal law requires—it is more critical than ever for parents, educators and others who care about students with learning and attention issues to advocate for increased funding.


For a full discussion of how to address the challenges and opportunities discussed in this chapter, see NCLD’s Recommended Policy Changes.