From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
As school districts across the nation spend their federal stimulus money, some disability advocates say a loophole in the federal law has allowed districts to cheat students out of the very special education services the money was meant to bolster.
A federal rule allows districts to use their stimulus dollars to reduce the amount of local money a district spends on special education, allowing districts to use special ed funding to reduce other costs. Districts say the provision allows them to improve education for all students, but advocates worry the districts may be setting a precedent that could jeopardize special education allocations in the future.
“It’s an atrocity,” said Laura Kaloi, public policy director for the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The money was meant for students receiving special education, not as a way for districts to cut back on how much they spend on those students, she said.