New Mexico could be docked up to $93 million in federal special education funding because it made reductions to the program without U.S. Department of Education approval, according to news reports.
The state is facing a penalty because it did not follow a rule known as “maintenance of state financial support.” Normally, states can only keep special education funding level or increase it.
In the recent recession, several states asked for permission to make temporary cuts. The Education Department granted waivers in some cases, but states that did not get waivers put their federal special education dollars at risk.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the state asked for a waiver for the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years, but was denied.
The Education Department has penalized South Carolina and Kansas for failing to follow the maintenance-of-support rules. South Carolina is appealing its penalty.
A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2013 edition of Education Week as N.M. Could Lose Special Ed. Funds