CSBA and ACSA partner on federal bill to increase IDEA funding
Legislation will increase funding over the next four fiscal years for infant, toddler and preschool-age children with disabilities
SACRAMENTO, Calif., (July 31, 2019) – The California School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators, through the CSBA/ACSA Federal Partnership, have put forward the “Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act.” H.R. 4107 was introduced today by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) and will increase funding over the next four fiscal years for early education services for the youngest students needing special education services and programs. Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides funding to states to implement a system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families — and for preschool services under Part B of IDEA.
“Over the past two decades, the needs of children and families nationwide for early intervention and preschool special education services have dramatically increased, while federal investments in these services have continuously deteriorated,” said CSBA President Emma Turner. “CSBA strongly supports the Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act as a critical mechanism to restore lost funding and ensure that all children are receiving the services they need for success as students and to contribute fully to the social, civic and economic prosperity of the United States.”
Increasing funding levels for these programs will increase the amount of services available to special education students at a younger age. Research has shown that the earlier you can provide services to children with special needs, the greater the impact for the children and the lesser the potential for increased and costlier services as they get older. Adjusted for inflation, per-child funding for both preschool students under Part B and for infants and toddlers under Part C of IDEA have decreased from their peaks by more than 64 percent. The “Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act” would restore funding back to where it belongs.
“Fulfilling the promise of IDEA includes providing sufficient funding for early intervention and preschool special education services for children and their families,” said ACSA President Linda Kaminski. “The Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act is an important step in the right direction. We thank Congressman DeSaulnier and Congressman Davis for their work on this bill and hope the relevant committees will give it close attention.”
“Early childhood interventions are crucial for a child’s development, and every child, regardless of disability status, should have an equal opportunity to obtain high-quality early childhood services,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “These programs deserve increased federal funds to prove that Congress is dedicated to promoting inclusive, appropriate and quality education for infants, toddlers and preschool children with disabilities and supporting the schools that do this important work.”
“I’ve long advocated for fully funding IDEA programs for schools and this bill gets us closer to achieving that goal,” said Congressman Davis. “The needs of this program have increased over the years and it’s vitally important that we invest in early childhood learning through IDEA. After speaking with several groups from Illinois, including the Illinois Education Association, over the past several months, I’m excited to announce this bipartisan solution with my colleague Congressman DeSaulnier. I look forward to continuing to support IDEA programs and the students they serve.”
The legislation is supported by a wide range of education advocacy organizations from around the country.
CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.