Federal Education Funding

NAESP believes that improving our education system is critical to the future well-being of our nation. Investing in education strengthens the entire economy, and must be made a high priority. Schools struggle to handle increased student enrollments and the need for additional special services as student populations become more diverse and as school budgets continue to decline during these difficult economic times.

NAESP advocates for increased federal funding for cornerstone programs that have the most impact in our nation’s schools. Title I grants, the main source of funding for No Child Left Behind, helps low-income and disadvantaged students improve their academic performance. This, along with IDEA grants, which fund services for special education, cannot meet the demand for these services and have been underfunded by the federal government for decades.

The influx of one-time Title I stimulus funding ended at the start of the current school year, just as the number of low-income students reached record levels. Since over 90 percent for the nation’s school districts participate in the Title I program, this leaves funding shortages for critical services for students most at need.

When IDEA was first enacted in 1975, the Federal Government promised to provide 40 percent of the excess cost to fund special education services. This promise has never been fulfilled, and the federal share of funding special education services in 2013 sits at just 14.9 percent.