By MELISSA RAYMORE-RANDALLThe US Department of Education has said it will no longer accept funding for any educational assistance provided to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) due to the recent changes to the law.
The Education Department, which provides $1.5 trillion to the US education system, said on Thursday it would no longer receive federal funds for any assistance provided by the Department of Justice and the Department’s Civil Rights Division to students with disabilities.
It also said it would end the use of the Department and the DOJ’s Civil Service Reform Initiative (CSRI) grant programs to support the provision of assistance for students with special needs in the public schools.
The changes to IDEA come after the Trump administration in January announced that the law’s Section 504 waiver would be revoked.
Section 504 allows states to provide “accommodative educational services” to people with disabilities that are deemed appropriate by the states.
But Section 504 waivers have historically been given only to the most severely disabled students.
In the most recent change, the Trump Administration said the waiver would now be given to students who qualify under Section 504 but who “may not be eligible for the waiver due to disability or other factors”.
“The Administration will discontinue the use and distribution of Section 504 educational assistance to such students,” the Education Department said in a statement.
It added that the waiver was “not subject to any additional terms and conditions”.
Under the new rule, states would not receive federal funding for educational assistance for the provision or renewal of Section 498 waivers.
However, it said the Department will continue to support states in their efforts to provide such waivers.
“The Department is committed to ensuring that our students are given the best possible opportunities to succeed,” it said.
The US has been the leader in the world in school reform.
More: President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly made headlines for its controversial moves to cut back on federal funding to states.
The Trump Administration has been criticised for its cuts to federal education spending, which has been estimated to cost $1tn over the next 10 years.
Its actions have sparked outrage from advocates who say it has failed to adequately fund education in the US.
Some of those advocating for change in the education system include parents, educators, and advocacy groups.
Some of the states which have made the changes to their waiver programs under the IDEA are: California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.