New Mexico May Face Loss of Federal Special Education Funds
Christine Samuels, Ed Week, January 30, 2013
A New Mexico newspaper is reporting that the state could be docked up to $93 million in federal special education funding because it made reductions to the program without U.S. Department of Education approval.
The state is facing a penalty because it did not follow a rule known in federal funding circles as "maintenance of effort." Normally, states can only keep special education funding level or increase that funding from year to year. But in the depths of the recent recession, several states asked for permission to make temporary cuts because state revenues were falling off. The Education Department granted waivers in some cases, but those that did not get a waiver put their federal special education dollars at risk. (The department had considered allowing states to make cuts to special education funding without getting a waiver, but backed off that plan after an outcry from disability advocacy groups.)