Committee Examines Special Education Funding
By Kealey Bultena
As lawmakers comb though the Department of Education’s budget, they don’t have many options when it comes to funding special education.
Tami Darnall with the DOE says federal law requires setting aside a specific dollar amount for special ed. That number can’t be lower than what the state allocated in the past.
"That $49 million, as you can see here, and I think I’m being very open about it, that is higher than what I anticipate our need to be. But I still have to, under IDEA, and all states have to do this, I have to show that if there ends up being a need for it, I have $49 million that I can pay out for special education," Darnall says. "They’re not saying I have to spend it all, I just have to make it available."
Darnall says she estimates South Dakota will need $45.4 million dollars for special education in this next budget.
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