SD Educators Ask Feds to Keep Funding Promise for Special Ed
Friday, April 12, 2019
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Congress is looking at a resolution that would help South Dakota and other states pay for special education, and educators in the state say it's about time the federal government pays what it promised.
The "Individuals with Disabilities in Education Full Funding Act" was passed in 1975, to ensure that free public education is available to all eligible children with disabilities.
Mary McCorkle, president of the South Dakota Education Association says Congress agreed that the federal government would pay 40% of the costs, with the rest covered by states. But it didn't happen, putting schools and school districts across the country in a difficult spot.
"It has never funded that 40%,” says McCorkle. “So schools across the country and here in South Dakota have gotten farther and farther behind. And now, it's at about 14% of the cost."
To meet the needs of special education students, South Dakota school districts have bridged the funding gap through the state's Extraordinary Cost Fund.
McCorkle says state lawmakers have passed bills to try to tackle the issue, but without more federal support, she warns South Dakota could see an education funding crisis.
The federal IDEA law ensures special education and related services to children with disabilities, but bills to fully fund it have stalled in the last few sessions of Congress.
McCorkle says this inaction has affected everything from teacher pay to class size, to districts' ability to afford music, art and physical education classes.
"We need to help our students and support them,” says McCorkle. “And the more the federal government does not keep its obligations, the harder it is for our schools and for our students of South Dakota.”
This year's bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House calls for incremental federal funding hikes for special ed. It would mean the government starts paying its full 40% share beginning in fiscal year 2029.
get more stories like this via email
RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …
MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …
Health and Wellness
DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …
DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …
MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …