CEC will continue working toward increased funding for special and gifted education
Statement by Deborah Ziegler, Associate Executive Director, Policy and Advocacy Services,The Council for Exceptional Children
President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2012 education budget contains sizeable increases in public education funding, and the Council for Exceptional Children appreciates his commitment to making a high-quality education accessible to all of America’s children.
CEC was pleased to see a significant increase of $50 million in funding for the Part C Infants and Toddlers Program. Part C programs have been particularly hard hit over the years with many states having to increase fees to parents. This wise investment is a step in the right direction for the long-term stability of this important program.
The request also will increase funding for Part B Grants to States, but only by $200 million, keeping the federal share at 17 percent of the 40 percent average per pupil expenditure, which is considered full funding for IDEA, essentially level funding this program. Similarly, Part B, Section 619 serving students ages 3-5 and IDEA Part D programs will remain level funded with a decrease to technology and media services. While we appreciate the president’s attention to special education, CEC is concerned that after so many years of shrinking state and local revenues, and the deep cuts that have already occurred, the president’s budget does not go far enough.
CEC’s 35,000 members stand ready to work with the administration and Congress to develop policies that support positive educational outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents.