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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

Audit: $100 Million Shortfall in Special Education Funding

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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.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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