IDEA Full Funding Bills May Appear on House Agenda Later this Year
Congress is on an extended recess until September 9, but looking ahead to the fall, we expect the House Education and Labor Committee to shine a light on the federal government’s failure to sufficiently fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. For many years, bipartisan bills have been introduced in the Senate and House to require the federal government to pay a higher percentage of the costs associated with serving the nation’s special education students. Earlier this year, Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) and 113 cosponsors, including 13 Republicans, introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act (H.R.1878) to increase the federal share of IDEA Part B funding over time. More recently, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and six cosponsors, including two Republicans, introduced the Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act (H.R.4107), which would increase the federal share of IDEA Part C funding, and would require increased federal investments in infants and toddlers and preschoolers. NSBA expects both measures to be the focus of the House education committee’s IDEA work later this year.
Appropriations will be on Senate’s Agenda in September
When Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, the Senate Appropriations Committee will launch a furious effort to make progress on the fiscal year 2020 spending process, including the Department of Education’s budget. With a two-year budget deal now in place, Senate staff are working hard during the long summer recess to lay the groundwork for several subcommittee and committee spending votes in September. NSBA’s advocacy team is focused on making sure that the major education formula programs – ESSA Title I and II, IDEA Part B – and other school board funding priorities are protected in the Senate bill’s that will be considered. We do not yet know when the Senate Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee will vote on the Department of Education’s fiscal year 2020 budget, but we will provide regular updates about the process to the membership.