The Ed department will release additional IDEA funds, new directions

With new funding and directions to come, the US Department of Education is focused on helping students with disabilities who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. (Juan Figueroa / The Dallas Morning News / TNS)

Schools across the country are set to receive billions of dollars – and new directions – to help meet the needs of students with disabilities amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Department of Education said it has sent more than $ 3 billion to states to support students served under the Disability Education Act. The funding is part of the US bailout, a massive government pandemic relief plan approved in March.

“We know that COVID-19 and the disruptions to access to in-person learning over the past year have taken a disproportionate toll on American children with disabilities, who, all too often in the midst of the pandemic, have had difficulty receiving the services and supports they were entitled to, ”said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. “With these crucial US bailout funds, our early intervention providers and schools will be better able to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and ensure that our system education reappears even stronger than before the pandemic. ”

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Most of the money – $ 2.6 billion – will go to special education programs for ages 3 to 21, while $ 200 million will go to preschool offerings for children with disabilities ages 3 to 5. years and $ 250 million will be allocated to disabled infants and toddlers and their families.

Generally speaking, the extra money can be used in the same way as any other IDEA fund, the education ministry said.

In addition to the funding, Assistant Secretary of Education Cindy Marten recently said that guidance will come by the end of the summer to tackle “the unique reopening challenges and opportunities for students with disabilities.”

“It will address some of the most pressing needs and concerns expressed by families, advocates and educators to bring clarity, direction and attention to this community,” Marten said at a departmental equity summit. education in June.

The advice, she added, will “focus on the lived experiences of students who may have suffered the most significant loss in education, services and community connections during the pandemic.”

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