The IDEA Full Funding Act
This legislation would finally ensure Congress fulfills its commitment to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In 1975, Congress passed IDEA to ensure that every child with a disability has access to educational opportunity. This law was a historic step forward, but since its passage Congress has failed to provide the funding it promised. Senator Van Hollen has been leading this push to fully fund IDEA since 2005.
Under IDEA, the federal government committed to pay 40 percent of the average per pupil expenditure for special education. However, that pledge has never been met, and current funding is at less than 13 percent. According to the Congressional Research Service, the IDEA shortfall in the 2021-2022 school year nationwide was $23.92 billion. Under full funding, Maryland alone would have received $675 million – a gap of $407.7 million. The IDEA Full Funding Act would require regular, mandatory increases in IDEA spending to finally meet our obligation to America’s children and schools. It is cosponsored by more than 20 Senators and over 60 House members.