ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Association of School Administrators, the professional organization for school superintendents and other school system leaders, today issued the following statement on the EDUCATE Act and the IDEA Full Funding Act:

"AASA applauds Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) for introducing the bipartisan Everyone Deserves UnConditional Access to Education (EDUCATE) Act. This essential legislation would at long last fully fund the federal commitment to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which ensures students with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education. 

By fully funding IDEA by 2015, the EDUCATE Act would fulfill the federal promise to provide 40 percent of the national average per-pupil expenditure.  Without counting the one-time infusion of IDEA dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal funding of IDEA is a staggering $9.3 billion below the level authorized, representing just 17.2 percent of the promised 40 percent.

In the current economic downturn, with states facing billions of dollars in funding shortfalls, this long-term federal funding shortfall is straining school system budgets and diverting resources from other critical education programs. It is time for the federal government to step forward with the funds needed to meet its promise to families and schools around the country.  We need Congress to continue the investment they made under ARRA for students with disabilities across the country.

Last week, Sens. Harkin (R-Iowa) and Roberts (R-Kan.) introduced S 1652, the IDEA Full Funding Act, that would also fully fund 40 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure for every child in special education by 2015. 

AASA urges Congress to pass both the EDUCATE Act and the IDEA Full Funding Act to ensure children with disabilities receive the best possible education and services, and to ensure that all children have access to the highest quality public education."

About AASA

The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org