Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Pushing to Close the Special Education Funding Gap

Providing effective funding for education is a top priority, and tomorrow the Senate will have an opportunity to advance that goal.

Currently, the Special Education Circuit Breaker program, which reimburses local school districts for the costs of Special Education, is falling short of its 75% reimbursement rate. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education estimates that the rate of reimbursement presently is 68%. Filling the funding gap is projected by DESE to require an additional $16.5 million in funding.

Earlier this month the House of Representatives, in an effort spearheaded by legislators representing the Triton Regional School District, amended a supplemental budget to add funds toward the goal of closing this gap.

Tomorrow, the Senate will consider this supplemental budget, S2481, and I have offered an amendment, #6, to close the gap completely. This far 11 Senators from both parties have co-sponsored the amendment. Hopefully we will be able to work together to respond to this major cost issue for local schools all across the state.