Maryland budget: special education and disabilities funding

Feb 04, 18 Maryland budget: special education and disabilities funding
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FROM THE SETH’S MOM ARCHIVES: Maryland Special Education Budget

Seth’s Mom is constantly looking for ways to provide help for parents with disabled children, and disabled self-advocates. An important part of providing support is understanding the Maryland budget and how disabilities funding cuts and priorities can effect services.

Seth’s Mom family in other states, and around the world, can use this article as a guide to understanding mental health and disability service funding.

The fiscal year 2019 budget has been released by Governor Larry Hogan. Below you will find some of the highlights provided by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC): Highlights of Particular Interest to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and their Families.

Maryland Governor Hogan’s FY 2019 Budget Released


Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

$2.7 million increase in funding for the Autism Waiver so that an additional 100 children with autism receive services. There are 5300 children on the Autism Waiver Registry.

$8.5 million increase for public pre-kindergarten education.

$10.4 million for the Maryland Infants & Toddlers Program–the same funding level as FY2018.

$9 million for the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program. BOOST provides scholarships to students to attend private schools. Most private schools do not have to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) so even if a student with a disability enrolls, the private school does not have to provide the services and supports he or she needs.

Utilizing funding that will carry-over from this year, the Child Care Subsidy Program, which funds free or reduced-priced child care for eligible families, will decrease the waitlist for care and increase the reimbursement rate for child care providers by 8%.

$1.6 million increase in state funding for the Division of Rehabilitative Services (DORS) in order to reduce the waitlist for services. DORS provides employments services to people with disabilities.

Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)

Note: The numbers of people who will be served are estimates.

$13,947,568 for Transitioning Youth services. This will provide employment or day supports for all eligible youth transitioning from school to employment or day supports in FY19. DDA projects that approximately 613 transitioning youth will be served. (General + Federal Funds)

$5,620,087 to support people in emergency situations. An estimated 53 people will receive services. (General + Federal Funds)

$6,495,556 to provide services to approximately 165 people in the Crisis Resolution priority category on the DDA waiting list. There are nearly 8000 people on the waiting list in different priority categories. (General + Federal Funds)

$1,522,718 from the Waiting List Equity Fund to support approximately 19 people on the waiting list with the oldest caregivers. (Special Funds + Federal Funds)

$1,689,605 to provide services to approximately 60 young adults aging out of Department of Social Services placements (General + Federal Funds). This category of funding is important so that DDA doesn’t have to tap funds from other categories to meet these priorities.

$5,544,500 for Low Intensity Support Services to serve approximately 1911 people. (General Funds)

$10,000,000 for the Community Support Waiver, to provide funding for non-residential services in the community for 400 people. DDA will soon begin serving people through this waiver using funds approved in the FY2018 budget. This waiver is capped at $25,000 per person/per year. The FY2019 funds will continue services to people who enter the waiver this year (FY2018) and is expected to reach approximately 400 people.

$4,800,000 for the Individual & Family Support Waiver, to provide support to supplement what is provided through MSDE and other service systems for people age 21 and under. DDA will soon begin serving individuals and families through this waiver using funds approved in the FY2018 budget. This waiver is capped at $12,000 per person/per year. The FY2019 funds will continue services to people who enter the waiver this year (FY2018), and is expected to reach approximately 400 people.

$250,000 to support at least one college or university with developing an inclusive post-secondary education program for people with intellectual disabilities based on national best practices.

$11,000,000 for a 1% rate increase for DDA service providers. (General + Federal Funds). This amount falls far short of the 3.5% rate increase expected – and determined to be needed – by the Minimum Wage Act of 2014, a legislative mandate. The full mandated rate increase is needed to support a stable, quality system of supports related to all of the services noted above.

Additional funds are included to continue providing services for people receiving services in FY2018.

DDA’s FY2019 Community Services budget totals $1,209,918,412.


For additional budget details click here.

For more information about MDDC click here.


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External resources

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Maryland Department of Education – Special Education/Early Intervention

MANSEF – Maryland Association of Non-public Special Education Facilities

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