Auditor orders special review of special education

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State Auditor Hector Balderas has ordered a special audit of potential funding problems for special education programs that could cause New Mexico to lose millions of dollars in federal money.

Balderas told the Public Education Department on Monday in a letter that he hopes a report will be done before the Legislature meets in January.

At issue are federal requirements for states not to cut their support for services for special education students.

New Mexico potentially ran afoul of those requirements when lawmakers cut state aid to public schools to help balance the budget several years ago after the economy weakened.

The federal government has agreed to waive its funding requirements for 2010, but questions remain about other budget years.