House education aides say that the $12.2 billion for special education funding in the stimulus package will follow existing funding provisions, as opposed to the broader waivers that were a part of the Senate’s version of the stimulus bill.
My earlier post on maintenance of effort and “supplement-not-supplant” issues explains why this is an important issue. The Senate version of the stimulus bill would have allowed states to apply for waivers that would let them temporarily use all of their stimulus money to replace state dollars for special education.
Disability advocacy groups are likely to be happy about the way the final bill turned out. They were worried that shifting dollars would leave students with disabilities in the lurch after the stimulus dollars went away. Governors and state officials are likely to be unhappy, because they were looking for the greatest amount of flexibility possible in spending this money.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.