Judge Rules Against New Mexico in Special Education Funding Case
By Christina Samuels, Education Week | May 16, 2014
New Mexico did not have the right to reduce state spending in special education for the 2010-11 school year, according to an administrative hearing office based at the U.S. Department of Education, and the decision could have repercussions for later years as well.
Richard F. O'Hair, an administrative judge within the department's office of hearings and appeals, said he was unpersuaded by the state's argument that it had the right to reduce special education spending, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican. The judge's decision was May 8.
New Mexico's next step is to see if Education Secretary Arne Duncan overrules the judge, or the state could file an appeal in federal court, according to the news article.
This funding issue started back when several states, including New Mexico, were struggling with plummeting state revenues. Normally, the Department of Education does not allow states to reduce their financial support for special education programs, in an effort to maintain stable funding for the program. But during the recession, several states asked for, and received, permission to make temporary cuts because state revenues were falling off. Those that made cuts without a funding waiver risked penalties from the Education Department….Full Article