The IDEA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009

     The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (ARRA) provides significant new funding for services for children with disabilities under the IDEA’s Parts B and C.  These additional IDEA funds are provided under three authorities: (1) $11.3 billion for IDEA Part B grants to states (2) $400 million under Part B Preschool Grants to States (children ages three to five) and (3) $500 million for Part C Grants for Infants and Families (children with disabilities from birth through age two). 

          The Department of Education plans to move quickly, awarding half of this additional IDEA funding by the end of this month, March 2009, and the other half by October 1, 2009. The funds are in addition to the regular Fiscal Year 2009 Part B grants to states. You can find information about each state’s allocation at

          This additional IDEA funding is expected to be temporary and available for only one to three years. The Department of Education, therefore, expects that states and local education agencies will use the funds for “short-term investments that have the potential for long-term benefits…” Examples of possible uses of these funds include: 

  • Obtaining state-of-the art assistive technology devices and providing training in their use to enhance access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities. 

  • Providing intensive district-wide professional development for special education and regular education teachers that focuses on replicating proven innovative strategies in reading, math, writing, and science, and positive behavioral supports to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. 

  • Developing or expanding the capacity to collect and use data to improve teaching and learning. 

  • Expanding the availability and range of inclusive placement options for preschoolers with disabilities by developing the capacity of public and private preschool programs to serve children with disabilities. 

  • Hire transition coordinators to work with employers in the community to develop job placements for students with disabilities. 

          This information is based on fact sheets issued on March 7th by the Department of Education regarding implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Please note that in the second bullet above, I emphasized using using the funds to provide professional development regarding positive behavioral supports. It has been my experience that training in the use of positive behavioral supports is often lacking and can be a critical factor in including children with disabilities in school.



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  1. […] that my son receives, she could learn the skills needed to prevent the next worldwide flu The IDEA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 – 03/09/2009      The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 […]

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