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My High Plains: Members of New Mexico Congressional Delegation Introduce Bill to Protect Special-Ed Federal Funding

Members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation have introduced a bill that would protect New Mexico’s future special education funding.

This week, the Department of Education ruled that New Mexico underfunded its share of the cost of educating students with special needs for the state fiscal year 2011. It determined New Mexico did not meet its financial obligations for special education spending by $34 million. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states must maintain their share of special education spending through a “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirement to ensure they use federal funding to enhance their services rather than supplant state funds. When states fall short of maintaining this effort, current law requires the federal contribution for special education funding be reduced by that same amount for all future years.

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