The California Department of Education (CDE) receives funding under three provisions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). California's Legislature and Governor provide the guidelines for these funds through the annual Budget Act. General questions about federal funds should be directed to the Special Education Division (SED), Administrative Services Unit, by phone at 916-323-1323. Questions related to a specific grant program should be directed to the program contact identified in the program summary.
Program information on specific federal IDEA grants allocated to provide services to individuals with disabilities is described below:
IDEA, Part B, Section 611
- Subgrants to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs)
- Capacity Building
IDEA, Part B, Section 619
- Subgrants to LEAs
- Capacity Building
IDEA, Part C
- Subgrants to LEAs
State (Proposition 98) Funded Grant Awards
- WorkAbility I Vocational Education Project (23011)
- Infant Discretionary Funds (24462)
- Project WorkAbility I (24463)
- Low Incidence Entitlements (24464)
- Personnel Development for Special Education Local Areas (24722)
- Allocation process for IDEA, Part B, Section 611 subgrants to LEAs in 2012-13 (Updated 24-Feb-2014)
- Frequently Asked Fiscal Questions (Updated 18-Sep-2012)
- Reporting Timelines and Contact Resources (XLS; Updated 24-Feb-2012)
- Application for Construction or Alteration of Facilities (DOC; Posted 01-Jun-2012)
- Application for Equipment Purchase (DOC; Revised 24-Oct-2012)
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (Posted 15-May-2009)
- Application for Construction or Alteration of Facilities (DOC; Revised 23-Dec-2009)
- Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 21-Sep-2011)
- State and Federal Grant Resources
IDEA, Part B, federal funds are combined with local assistance state general funds to provide revenue to support the expense of educating identified students with disabilities. The state estimates total special education expenditures, deducts federal and property tax revenues, and allocates local assistance state funds for the remainder.
This grant is one portion of the federal subgrants to LEAs. The subgrants are based on a three-part formula: a base amount, a percentage of population, and a percentage of poverty. All Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA)s receive a base amount of $323,428,031 statewide, divided by December 1999 pupil count. Of the funds in excess of the base amount, 85 percent are allocated on the basis of the relative number of children enrolled in public and private elementary and secondary schools within each SELPA's jurisdiction, and 15 percent on the basis of the relative number of children living in poverty using free and reduced price meal participation as the indicator of poverty. Adjustments to the base amount are required if a new SELPA is created, if one or more SELPAs are combined, or if SELPA geographical or administrative boundaries change. Districts must account for these funds as expenditures for pupils with an individualized education program (IEP) and for the provisions of the special education and related services required by students with disabilities in order to benefit from a public education.
This grant is allocated for students five through twenty-one years of age. Two other grants comprise of the total subgrants to LEAs: 1) State Institutions (13008), and 2) Preschool Local Entitlements (13682).
The federal Preschool Local Entitlement Instructional Programs provides funding for special education and services to children with disabilities for ages three-, four-, and five-year old preschoolers. The funds available for this program come from the federal Part B, IDEA [Section ( §) 611 subgrants, to LEAs]. For the method of calculation, see Local Assistance Entitlements (13379).
All SELPAs, including state agencies, are required to have approved local plans. There is no separate funding for services provided by state agencies because of the merger of federal funds for special education students in state agencies from Public Law (PL) 89-313 (Chapter I) with IDEA 20 United States Code (USC) § 1400 et seq.) Part B. The merger requires state agencies to have on file with the state educational agency an application (a local plan) that meets the requirements under Part B. The State Board of Education is authorized under Education Code (EC) § 56100 to grant approvals of local plans. The affected state agencies are the State Special Schools, Division of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). For the method of calculation, see Local Assistance Entitlements (13379).
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) grants are funded through the IDEA, Part B. The CDE finds that the ADR process is a desirable and effective practice that supports the positive interaction and collaboration among parents and educators and promotes in assisting parents and educational agencies in the implementation of the use of conflict resolution throughout the state.
The CDE awards these grants to regional consortia that include LEAs and county offices. Selected LEAs will train and implement an ADR process in responding to and resolving local complaints and concerns regarding the implementation of the IDEA, Part B and relevant state laws. (Budget Act, Item 6110-161-0890, Schedule 4, Provision 3)
The State Performance Plan (SPP) Facilitated Review Grants are specific to issues of disproportionate representation. They are designed to assist local educational agencies (LEAs) to improve educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities and to ensure that LEAs meet requirements specific to disproportionality. In addition, the SPP Facilitated Review Grants support the renewal, revision, and/or development of policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that racial and ethnic groups are appropriately identified and receiving services in the least restrictive environment.
State and federal laws mandate active parent participation in securing special education services for children with disabilities. Many families whose children are over the age of three may not have access to the information, training, and support they need in order to be effectively involved in their children's education. The California State Legislature passed, and Governor Gray Davis signed, Senate Bill 511, (Chapter 690, Statutes of 2001) as a remedy to this situation, establishing Family Empowerment Centers to provide families with information, training, and support.
The total 2012-13 grant amount of $2,644,000 is awarded to 14 private, non-profit organizations. Each grantee receives a base amount of $150,000, plus an additional amount based on their region's total school enrollment.
The 14 Family Empowerment Centers provide services for families whose children are from the ages of three to twenty-two years of age, serve families of children with all disabilities, and prepare families to partner with professionals in obtaining an appropriate education for children with disabilities.
The Family Empowerment Centers will offer parents and guardians of children and young adults with disabilities access to accurate information, specialized training, and peer-to-peer support in their communities. Through these efforts, families will have a network to inform, support, and educate them to be full partners in their children's education and development. By building strong networks of support throughout their regions, the centers will help ensure that families have support from the time their children are first identified with disabilities through their transition to community life. (Budget Act, Item 6110-161-0890, Schedule 7, Provision 6)
The mental health ADA allocation grants are funded through Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B. Grant funds shall be available only for the purpose of providing educationally-related mental health services, including out-of-home residential services for emotionally disturbed students, required by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) pursuant to the federal IDEA of 2004 (20 USC Sec. 1400 et seq.) and as described in Section 56363 of the Education Code (EC). For Fiscal Year 2012–13, the initial grant awards allocated to each Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) are estimated apportionments calculated based on 2011-12 P-2 ADA. The CDE will amend the FY 2012-13 MH ADA grant awards based on current year P-2 ADA that will be available in summer 2013. (Budget Act (AB 1497, Chapter 29, Statutes of 2012), Item 6110-161-0890, Schedule 4, Provision 8)
Funding is provided for California State Special Schools' students' transportation on weekends and school holiday periods.
The federal Preschool Instructional Programs provide funding for special education and services to children with disabilities ages three to five. This funding comes from IDEA, Part B, § 619.
Pre-Kindergarten Staff Development funds provide for local staff development opportunities for those who work in infant and preschool programs. The funds are disseminated on a pro-rata basis based on the prior year December student count, ages three to five. The minimum grant per SELPA is $1,000. The source of funds is the federal Preschool Grant (§ 619 of Part B, IDEA).
In conjunction with the Child Development Division, funds are provided for special education and services to children with disabilities ages three to five in each of the eleven Superintendent regions throughout California. A team of trainers with expertise in Early Childhood, Special Education, and English Learners, provide training and technical assistance to state funded and special education preschool programs to promote best practices in the implementation of the Preschool Learning Foundations, emphasizing literacy and language, early mathematics, social-emotional development, and English language acquisition. This provides access for children with disabilities to regular preschool activities.
Funding is provided to six LEAs to support the activities of the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report related to Indicator 7, Preschool Assessment. The grantees assist the Desired Results access Project in completing studies, development work, training, and technical assistance.
In 1986, the federal government enacted PL 99-457, which authorized grants to states to plan and implement a comprehensive, community-based interagency system of early education services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The lead agency for Part C of IDEA is the DDS. State legislation (The California Early Intervention Services Act - Government Code [GC] §s 95000 et. seq.) enabled California to participate in the Part C program and created a statewide mandate for LEAs to serve all infants and toddlers with solely low incidence disabilities. It also required changes in procedures and services for all infants served by LEAs. The CDE receives funds ($14,200,000) from the DDS for local assistance through an interagency agreement to address the cost impacts experienced by LEAs in implementing the new federal and state requirements (Budget Act, Item 6110-161-0001, Schedule 3). The grants fund each SELPA based on their specific cost impacts. Allocations are based on an Interagency Agreement with the DDS and the CDE. The SED administers these funds through formula grants:
- Cost impacts are computed for SELPAs in four areas:
- Number of additional children with low incidence conditions to be served
- Additional required services
- Additional required procedures
- Regional services and administration
- SELPAs provide budget information and justification to the CDE; SELPAs also submit one interim expenditure report and a final expenditure report. Based on projected expenditures, and verification of the appropriateness of projected costs, SELPA grant awards are amended.
These funds shall be available for the purposes of vocational training and job placement for special education students through Project WorkAbility I pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with § 56470) of Chapter 4.5 of Part 30 of the EC. As a condition of receiving these funds, each LEA shall certify that the amount of nonfederal resources, exclusive of funds received pursuant to this provision, devoted to the provision of vocational education for special education pupils shall be maintained at or above the level provided in the 1984-85 fiscal year. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction may waive this requirement for LEAs that demonstrate that the requirement would impose a severe hardship.
These funds are established in EC § 56427 for direct early education services for infants who have disabilities. In the past, these funds were used to offset shortfalls in the growth appropriation for infants. With the implementation of the Part C, Early Education Programs, the CDE reserved those funds to address unanticipated direct service impacts of transitioning to the new Part C, Early Education Program.