ED releases $3 billion in ARP funds to help children with disabilities
The U.S. Education Department released more than $3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds to states to children and youths served under IDEA Part B and IDEA Part C.
President Biden signed the legislation into law March 11, appropriating for FY 2021 some $2.58 billion for grants to states under IDEA Part B Section 611, $200 million for preschool grants under IDEA Part B Section 619, and $250 million for programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities under IDEA Part C. ARP Section 2014(a).
The newly released funds — designed to aid those served under the IDEA and address inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic — add to the existing ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief allocation worth $122 billion in K-12 state funds for schools.
ED’s Office of Special Education Programs will administer and monitor the ARP Section 2014(a) funds now available for states, districts, and lead agencies. Funds for IDEA Part B Section 611 and 619 and IDEA Part C grant programs must be obligated by their respective authorized agencies between July 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2023, and liquidated by Jan. 28, 2024, according to the department’s fact sheet.
The fact sheet highlights major statutory and regulatory requirements of IDEA Part B and IDEA Part C, applied equally to funds made available under the ARP and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, in a department press release, that the pandemic and disruptions in access to in-person learning over the last year have taken a disproportionate toll on children with disabilities, who have experienced challenges in receiving the services and supports.
“With these crucial American Rescue Plan funds, our early intervention providers and schools will be better able to address the needs of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and ensure our education system reemerges even stronger than before the pandemic,” Cardona said.
Johnny Jackson covers special education issues for LRP Publications.
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