Forty-four billion dollars in cuts to federal outlays are set to start on March 1, amounting to an eight percent cut in defense spending and six percent in non-entitlement non-defense spending. Under sequestration, federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be reduced by $1,053,600,000 in 2013, or 28 percent of the total reduction to education programs.

Close to 15,000 special education teachers could lose their jobs under sequestration. The result would mean higher student-teacher ratios (aka class size), as well as fewer support personnel such as aides who provide valuable and necessary assistance to skilled special educators.

A $1.1 billion reduction in IDEA federal funds in 2013 will put the federal contribution toward the cost of special education back to its 2005 level. Equally important, federal funds for IDEA have never come close to the amount authorized by IDEA, often referred to as “Full Funding.”

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