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How Are They Generated?

Most of the money to fund our schools comes from local property taxes and state funding. The funds are administered through the Foundation School Program (FSP) by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The FSP has two parts: school operations and school facilities.

Students with disabilities generate state regular education funds to help schools provide their basic education program. They also generate state special education funds. These additional state dollars for students with disabilities help offset the increased costs of their services.

Part of the funding formula uses data from the 1992-1993 school year. The Texas Education Code 42.151(d) states: For funding purposes the contact hours credited per day for the child in the resource room; self-contained, mild and moderate; and self-contained, severe instructional arranagement may not exceed the average of the statewide total contact hours credit per day for those three instructional arrangements in the 1992-1993 school year.

How Much Money Does Your School Recieve?

Check how much money your school receives in state funding at the TEA website: School District State Aid Reports.

  1. In the drop-down menu, select Summary of Finance (SOF) and the year.
  2. Enter your district/charter name.
  3. Download the most current re-port in the list.
  4. Look at the Tier I Allotment section on page 2 to see the regular and special education allotment estimates.

Remember property-wealthy districts may not actually receive state funds for special education. They must spend in local dollars at least the amount shown on the Summary of Finance.

District Allocations

State Special Education Funds are generated by the district’s student attendance, the per pupil amount for each student, Instructional Arrangements, and the contact hours per Instructional Arrangement.

The Legal Framework

A compilation of state and federal requirements for special education organized by topic in a user-friendly format.


Instructional Arrangements

The type of service provided the student relates to an instructional arrangement (IA) code. The instructional arrangement generates special education funds based on a formula set in state rules.

Special Education Weights

The weights for each instructional arrangement vary based on the length of time the student is in special education settings and in the regular education classroom.

Did you know?

The Texas weighted funding system caused the state to underfund special education in 2011-2012.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on November 7, 2018 that Texas failed to meet the required level of funding known as mainte-nance of state financial support. The Department of Education will reduce a future federal grant to Texas in the amount Texas reduced its funding for that year.

How Are The Funds Used?

State Special Education Funds can be used to cover the increased cost of providing special education or specially-designed instruction and to assist schools in providing students a free, appropriate public education as required by federal and state law. Examples of these expenses include:

Typical Special Education Staff

  • Special Education Teachers
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Program Leadership
  • Evaluation Specialists (Educational Diagnosticians and/or Licensed Specialis in School Psychology)
  • Specialized Teachers (Visual and Auditory Impairments)
  • Speech Therapists and Related Service Providers (Occupational, Physical, Music Therapists)
  • Behavior Specialists
  • Special Education Counselor

Typical Contracted Services

  • Instruction
  • Assessments
  • Program Planning
  • Related Services
  • Professional Development
  • Program Evaluation

Materials, Supplies, & Equipment

  • Special materials, supplies, and equipment related to the students’ Individual Education Programs (IEPs). Routine classroom and office materials must not be purchased with state special education funds.

  • Specialized equipment: instructional and assistive technology and computers for instruction or assessment purposes.


  • Pays for staff travel to perform services on the IEP
  • Pays for staff travel to attend professional development to improve skills related to educating students with disabilities

Want to Know More?

Dig Deeper and learn more about the special education process in Texas using the following resources:

Using State Dollars

The Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG) outlines how schools must budget and account for the use of state education dollars.


Live Binder

The Special Education Funding Live Binder is a resource special education directors and school business managers use to understand special education funding.


Quick Reference

The Special Education quick reference guide covers local, state, and federal revenue sources, budgeting, allowable expenditures, and fiscal compliance.


Did you know?

State Special Education Funds can pay for parent training.

The rule states state special education funds may be used to pay for the joint training of parents and special education personnel, related services personnel, and general education personnel.

19 TAC 89.1124

Did you know?

Student attendance impacts funding.

Students must be in their seats to learn and to generate funds to implement those IEPs!

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