Report: the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:
Source: 2001 GOP Main Street Partnership Action Agenda for Education
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) helps to fulfill the most basic mission of federal education programs—equal opportunity for all children. To help improve the federal role in education, the Republican Main Street Partnership has identified the following areas that should receive priority during the reauthorization of IDEA:
Focus resources to help those with the greatest need, particularly the disadvantaged and disabled
Target Title I funds, those specifically designed to aid disadvantaged students, to students with the greatest need
Although Title I funds are already allocated according to population and poverty, more funds must be targeted to our neediest schools. We propose funding, for the first time, grants that send at least a portion of Title I funds solely on the basis of need.
Increase the maximum award under Pell Grants to help first-generation & low-income students continue their education
Increase the maximum award for students
from low-income families to restore the balance between grants and loans, particularly among those with the greatest need.
Continue efforts to increase federal funding for IDEA to help states and locals offset the cost of providing a ëfree appropriate public educationí for students with special needs
Move federal funding toward its goal of providing up to 40 percent of the average cost of educating a disabled child.
In addition, we need to better evaluate the effectiveness of this program and ensure that federal funds for IDEA—particularly in light of recent funding increases—are being targeted to our students with real learning disabilities.
Finally and most important, any fiscal incentives must be examined to ensure that the overidentification of learning disabled students is prevented, and our efforts must focus on the regular evaluation of the program to ensure that our special needs children are truly being provided a "free appropriate public education."
Headline: Focus educational resources to help those with greatest need