Education Department officials notified states in a letter Wednesday that they are reversing an earlier position, delivered in a letter last June, easing penalties for states that reduce special-education spending, writes education reporter Nirvi Shah in this blog post. Under the new guidelines, states that reduce special-education spending in a given year still must resume spending the following year at the previously higher level under the "maintenance of effort" clause in federal special-education requirements. Officials plan to seek public comment on the issue, the letter also said.

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