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Policy Post: Oregon asks for a hall pass

March 23, 2011
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This week Oregon asked for a one-year waiver of the IDEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement, essentially asking permission to lower the state funding for special education from the previous year.   The US Department of Education says that a request from a state must show “exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances.” In total, Oregon is asking for a cut of $15,674,579 in it’s commitment or a reduction of 4.48%. The request goes point by point over each of the criteria the federal government uses to evaluate a request. Essentially it argues that they have less tax revenue and have to make cuts because of the economy. Oregon’s not alone in it’s assessment, it joins six states that have made waiver requests too.

If a waiver is granted, theses states are still required to provide a “free appropriate public education” to all children with disabilities in their state despite less funding. It means tough decisions and at the district level we can see some difficult situations. In Courtney’s hometown of El Paso this has been the case for the past three years. Among all three major school districts there, they have cut more than 150 positions from special education despite an increase of about 500 special needs students.

We can’t stress enough that Court’s Kids efforts are needed now more than ever. We’ll always be there to help wherever we can.

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