NH receives $1.23M from feds for gap funding for students with disabilities

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Gov. Sununu

CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 7 announced that New Hampshire will receive $1.23 million in additional federal support. This comes after Gov. Chris Sununu traveled to Washington to personally make the case for the re-allotment of funds to bridge the shortfall for the 2018-2019 school year.

This is the first time the New Hampshire Department of Education has applied for additional support through re-allotment. The program is facing financial challenges due to recently discovered overspending by the previous bureau’s leadership, dating back to at least 2012. New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut implemented an agency-wide fiscal review process which is tracking grant spending quarterly. During this analysis, officials learned the bureau had spent millions more than it was taking in, relying on accumulated surplus funds. The funding crisis specifically hurts Project IMPACCT.

IMPACCT is a partnership of New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation (NHVR), Granite State Independent Living (GSIL), and high schools throughout New Hampshire. The program is dedicated to helping students with disabilities become part of the local workforce as they navigate from high school to employment, post-secondary education, or training that leads towards a career. You can read more about the program here.

“With this additional support from the federal government, New Hampshire will maintain its important infrastructure to ensure that children with disabilities have a pathway to become active members of society with jobs that provide them with self-value and purpose,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “We can now move forward with certainty that our VR programs will be fully funded for this school year. I would like to thank Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Johnny Collett and the Administration for their help.”

“This is the first time that a supplemental grant has ever been requested by NH Vocational Rehabilitation,“ said Commissioner Edelblut. “These funds will help support student programs like IMPACCT as well as meeting the bureau’s important client service obligations.”

Thanks to these funds along with innovative reforms championed by Governor Sununu and Commissioner Edelblut and the New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation program, will prevent many harmful impacts for this school year and be dedicated to helping to meet the needs of the 860 individuals that are currently on the wait list for services.