IDEA & Special Education Funding

IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, provides for all students to receive a free, appropriate, public education. Because of this legislation, students with disabilities have access to an appropriate education, healthcare, job training, and other services, in partnership with their families, at no additional cost. Schools receive monies from the federal government to fund special education departments that are equipped with specially trained teachers and equipment to help those students reach their potential of independence. IDEA recognizes 13 categories of student disability that may receive special education services in schools. The education department of New Mexico recognizes the following 14 categories.

  • Autism
  • Blindness
  • Visual impairment
  • Deaf
  • Hearing impairment
  • Deaf and blind
  • Mental retardation
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Speech/Language impairment
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Specified learning disability
  • Gifted (New Mexico)

To Qualify

To qualify for federally funded services, students with a disability must demonstrate the need for special education and/or related services in order to achieve academic success. New Mexico’s department of education has chosen these four areas of emphasis to better serve students in special education:

  • Focus monitoring
  • Positive behavior supports
  • Programs that prepare for student transition

All in a least restrictive environment

Southwest Regional Education Cooperative offers technical assistance and access to additional resources for member districts to help ensure that all students receive a free, appropriate education.