Ed_banner_left Ed_banner_right
U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Use of funds under Part B of the Act (Sec. 300.710(a))

Comment: One commenter stated that the Secretary of the Interior has no statutory authority to reserve funds for administration under section 611(h)(1)(A) of the Act, and therefore, Sec. 300.710 should be removed from the regulations.

Discussion: The Secretary of the Interior may reserve funds for administration under Sec. 300.710. Section 300.707(b), consistent with section 611(h)(1)(A) of the Act, requires the Secretary of Education to provide amounts to the Secretary of the Interior to meet the need for assistance for the education of children with disabilities on reservations aged 5 to 21, inclusive, enrolled in elementary schools and secondary schools for Indian children operated or funded by the Secretary of the Interior. The amount of such payment for any fiscal year must be equal to 80 percent of the amount allotted for the Secretary of the Interior under section 611(b)(2) of the Act for that fiscal year.

Since the enactment of regulations implementing P.L. 94-142 in 1977, the regulations have permitted the Secretary of the Interior to use five percent of the funds under Part B of the Act allocated for the education of children with disabilities enrolled in BIA-funded schools for administration. The Act added the requirement in section 611(h)(1)(A) for 80 percent of the funds to be allocated to BIA-funded schools by July 1 of each fiscal year, and 20 percent of the funds allocated by September 30 of each fiscal year. Congress' intent in adding this requirement was to ensure that the Secretary of the Interior distributes funds under Part B of the Act quickly and efficiently to BIA-funded schools to ensure that they have the resources they need to provide services to children with disabilities. (See H. Rpt. 108-77, p. 92.)

There is no indication that Congress intended to eliminate the Department's longstanding regulatory provision permitting the Secretary of the Interior to reserve funds for administration, which assist the Office of Indian Education Programs in carrying out its monitoring activities. Section 611(h)(4)(F) of the Act specifically prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from using any of the 20 percent of the funds under Part B of the Act allocated for coordinating services for preschool children with disabilities for administrative purposes. However, there is no provision that prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from using any of the 80 percent of funds under Part B of the Act allocated to provide special education and related services in BIA-funded schools for administrative purposes.

Changes: None.