Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Committee Chair

Ron Zimmer

Executive Summary

The federal government's role in education has been center stage for the past decade. Policy actors on the right call for a complete deconstruction of the federal Department of Education (ED). In today's partisan fighting over government funding, the topic of education services is critical. With further investigations into education services provided by federal funding, one vulnerable population that needs to be safeguarded is those students with disabilities. Protecting those students with disabilities and ensuring equal access to education and resources provided for non-disabled students should be one of the highest priorities of policy actors within the education sphere today. Therefore, this paper will review how special education funding from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is allocated across Kentucky school districts. The central research question for this paper is: How does the allocation of IDEA funds change over the previous two gubernatorial administrations, and what policy changes were made? Education has been at the center stage of the Kentucky political shear. At the same time, partisan fighting has caused many policy actors to force more controversial policies up for consideration. In Kentucky, changes in the KAR Title 707 Chapter 001 in the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly allowed for examining changes during two gubernatorial administrations. In the coming pages, I will review the policy actions that led to the creation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), primary funding methods for Special Education that are in use across the United States, and the review of Kentucky’s use of IDEA funds.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 01, 2024