A Change at the Federal Level in "Maintenance Effort"
For non-Americans who don't know, education in the USA is managed at the federal level (as opposed to, say, Canada, where it's managed at the provincial/territorial level). Historically, American schools were required to meet maintenance effort when it came to American special education spending. Maintenance effort dictates that schools must maintain or increase what they spend on special education from year to year.
However, Education Departmentwas prepared to release schools from the responsibility to meet maintenance effort this year, without the fines that generally accompany a failure to meet maintenance effort for special education. The amount spent this year in a school would be its new benchmark for special education spending.
And Yet Another Change in Special Education Spending
In response to letter from Kathleen Boundy, a co-director for the Center for Law and Education, the Education Department has changed its mind yet again. Melody Musgrove, director of the Office of Special Education, has rescinded the early decision and declared that schools must go back to meeting maintenance effort. Which makes parent and advocacy groups very happy. But I'd like to let to let them in on a little secret that we've known in Developmental Services in Ontario for a long time (and I'm sure a lot of other Ministries in Ontario/Canada know as well).
Meet Me at Camera Three, Advocacy Groups
Maintenance is actually a cut.
I know that we're all dealing with inflation and rising prices and a bad economy.
Canadians and Americans need to keep on advocating for the funding that's going to allow us to keep on providing quality education for *all* children, not just children with disabilities.
But you know all that, don't you?
Giving Credit Where It's Due
Excellent job, parents and advocacy groups and attorneys and Kathleen Boundy, on getting the decision on not meeting maintenance effort reversed. Keep up the great work. It's a good day for special education in America.
For more information: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2012/04/feds_back_off_of_letting_distr.html
Have a great long weekend, everyone.