When Congress passed IDEA in 1975, the federal government required states to provide a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities and committed to pay 40 percent of the cost of educating students with disabilities. States and localities were to pay the rest.
The federal government hasn't come close to fulfilling its obligation and is in fact only providing approximately half of the promised amount today. This shortfall places an onerous financial burden on many local communities who must find alternate resources, such as higher property taxes, to fund special education.
To rectify this situation, Rep. Eshoo is an original cosponsor of H.R. 526, the Full Funding for IDEA Now Act. This legislation would amend IDEA to ensure that the federal government always meets its obligation to states, localities, students and their families.