Sat. Sep 24th, 2022

Are you the parent of a child with autism, dyslexia, or another disability? Have you heard that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 has extra special education money included in the law? Would you like to know more about the law, and what principles special education personnel must follow to receive the funds? This article will discuss the ARRA of 2009 and 4 principles that must be followed to receive the funds.

The ARRA has a total amount of money available for special education services in the USA to be $12.2 billion dollars. This is broken down to:

$11.3 billion for Grants to States for Part B special education services $400 million for Preschool Grants Part B ages 3-5 and $500 million for Infants and toddlers with disabilities (ages birth-3)

These IDEA funds will provide an unprecedented opportunity for states to implement innovative strategies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities. The 4 Principles that must be followed are:

Principle 1: Spend funds quickly to save and create jobs. This money may be used to stop layoffs and to create new educational positions. Each state must develop a plan to move rapidly to use the funds.

Principle 2: Improve Student achievement through school improvement and reform. 4 reforms need to be worked on in this principle: A. Making progress toward rigorous college and career ready standards and high quality assessments that can be used for all students. B. Establishing pre K to college and career data systems that track progress and foster improvement. C. Making improvements in teacher effectiveness and in the equitable distribution of qualified teachers for all students. D. Providing intensive support and effective interventions for the lowest performing schools.

Principle 3: Ensure transparency, reporting and accountability. This is to prevent fraud, abuse and ensure the most effective uses of the ARRA funds.

Principle 4: Invest one time ARRA funds thoughtfully to minimize the funding cliff. These funds are only going to be available for two to three years. School districts need to spend these funds wisely to get maximum benefit, while the funding is available.

As a parent you have the right to get involved with your school district and help them spend the funds so that children with disabilities can receive a free appropriate public education. Keep up the fight with your school district, and make them accountable for spending our money!

By rahul