Audit: $100 Million Shortfall in Special Education Funding

Sep 2, 2015

An audit released today found weaknesses and deficiencies when it comes to funding requirements for special education. 

State Auditor Tim Keller said New Mexico hasn’t been meeting its obligation to fund special education, and that puts matching federal dollars in jeopardy. "Right now the Public Education Department is putting special ed funding at unnecessary risk," he said, "and our audit reveals that there’s $100 million dollars—no matter how you calculate it—that we lost out on."

The audit, according to Keller, indicates the Public Education Department checked the compliance box on federal forms without doing the math. "We need to stop bickering about methodology and just get it right going forward so that special ed kids get the solid funding annually that they deserve."

Keller added that the instability of the funding has left the Legislature scrambling to fill the gaps in the last two years. The Auditor’s Office is recommending that PED systematize its data reporting.

The department did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.