Matheson Battles Love Over Eliminating Special Education Money

Oct 24, 2012

Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson is once again attacking opponent Mia Love’s proposed budget cuts and this time it’s over special education grants.

Matheson’s latest attack on Love focuses on her proposal to eliminate the Department of Education. Matheson says doing so would include taking away more than $117 million the state received from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. The program helps ensure that children across the nation with disabilities are receiving adequate services and special education. In an email to KUER Love says that she trusts Utahns to be able to take care of their own special needs children, and that it shouldn’t be left to the federal government. But Matheson says eliminating this federal grant would do more harm than good.

“We need to talk about deficit reduction; we do need to cut spending. But this is not where you do it. It’s all about setting appropriate priorities and I think it’s remarkably naïve on her part to think somehow the state of Utah is going to make up the difference,” he says.

Matheson made his statements with several parents of special needs children, who also shared their stories. Previously, he has criticized Love for her proposed cuts to federal aid for college loans and local police grants.