Spotlight on Stimulus - IDEA September 15 2009
The ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) has provided a substantial amount of funding for those covered under the IDEA. The acronym IDEA stands for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a federal law that ensures educational services for children with disabilities.
The two parts that apply to the field of education are Part B and Part C. Between these two divisions, the federal government has provided $12.2 billion in stimulus funding. Fifty percent of the funds were awarded in April, with the remaining fifty percent to be doled out by September 30, 2009. How much does your state receive? The U.S. Department of Education has provided tables by state and program.
Part B of the IDEA
Stimulus funds will be given to state educational agencies and local educational agencies, such as school districts and Educational Services Districts, “…to help them ensure that children with disabilities, including children aged three through five, have access to a free appropriate public education to meet each child’s unique needs…” (http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/factsheet/idea.html). The provided funds for Part B of the IDEA equal to 11.3 billion through Grants to States and an additional $400 million through Preschool Grants.
Part C of the IDEA
These funds are intended for broader, interagency programs focused on early intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities, as well as family support. The provided funds for Part C of the IDEA equal $500 million through Grants for Infants and Families
What Can the Funds Be Used For?
- Funds can be used for technology that assists students and provides access to curriculum
- Professional development for teachers to develop school-wide strategies to improve student outcomes
- Provide data-driven programs for assessing student improvement
- Provide preschool development to better serve the needs of young children with disabilities
But How Do I Access Them?
Start with your colleagues. Do you have a Reading or Early Learning Specialist already in your building? What about the Resource Room or Special Education teacher? And don’t forget your school’s administrator! As students are evaluated in reading and math at the beginning of the school year, it should become easier to get information regarding Title I funds, especially when you want to purchase supplemental materials for intervention purposes.
Why is All This Important?
Because this year, you could be purchasing products paid for by stimulus funds instead of out of your own pocket! Teaching Resource Center has a variety of materials - including early intervention -appropriate for use of these IDEA funds, wherever you see the Title I Approved logo.
Hopefully the "Spotlight on Stimulus Series" will help direct more federal funds into your classroom for the benefit of your students. Questions? Comments? Please leave them below!