Does identifying my child as disabled and having an IEP give the school more money for my child?

Yes, children with disabilities generate additional federal funding beyond the basic allocation for a student without a disability. However, part of the answer is, “No.” The extra funding your child generates does not go into a specific account with their name. In many cases it does not even go directly to his or her school. The extra money generated by a child with a disability usually stays at the school district level and is used to hire the specialist to help your child and other children with disabilities.

For example, if the IEP team decides your child requires occupational therapy, the extra federal money generated goes toward paying the occupational therapist for the part of time he or she works with your child. If the IEP team decides your child requires an augmentative communication device that costs $7000, the school system will provide it even if the child’s allocated funding is less that that. When your child is identified as disabled, the school system must provide a free appropriate public education.