HELP NEEDED FOR SPECIAL ED BILL THIS WEEK. CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR BEFORE NEXT WEEK’S VOTE! SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS.

Due to strong advocate support, special education reforms to benefit children with disabilities passed the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, May 22. Thanks to all of the advocates who helped make this happen.

The comprehensive legislation for special education funding and accountability reforms passed the Committee in a unanimous vote. This is Senate Bill 1115, which is also now up to 30 cosponsors in the Senate.

The next step for SB 1115 is a vote in the full State Senate on June 4. Following the Senate’s favorable vote, the bill is scheduled to go to the House and then achieve final adoption along with the annual budget by June 30. Last week’s vote is great progress, but obviously there’s more work to do.

PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY, THURSDAY, OR FRIDAY THIS WEEK.
Follow the instructions below for contacting legislators about this important bill.

 1. Find the Harrisburg office phone number and e-mail address of the your state senator here – http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address.

 2. Call their Harrisburg office and leave a message, asking for a vote in favor of SB 1115, and noting that THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY PASSED THE BILL LAST WEEK.

Thanks to all of the groups and their members for getting involved and making this happen for children with disabilities.

 


ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS, if necessary, for calling the Harrisburg office of your local state senator:

  • “Please vote for Senate Bill 1115, the special education reform bill, when it comes up for a vote NEXT week.”
  • “Senators Browne and Dinniman are the leads sponsors. The bill has 30 cosponsors and Senator Piccola, Chair of the Education Committee, is also supporting the bill.”
  • “The current funding system is broken, is unfair, and does not provide enough resources for special education in the right places. The broken system sets the number of students eligible for state funding for special education at 16 percent regardless of whether the school district has fewer or more students receiving special education. It also does not focus the funding on strategies that have a track record for improving student performance.”
  • “I am asking you to support reform of the state funding and accountability system for special education.”
  • “The school districts you represent need support for special education, and must be held accountable for results.”
  • “I have personal experience with how this broken system hurts children with disabilities and all students.” (Describe your experience.)
  • “This legislation was approved 173-25 by the full House of Representatives in 2010, and has now been re-introduced as SB 1115. The bill does not call for any new funding in 2012-13.”
  • “Thank you for supporting this important issue and voting for SB 1115 when it comes up NEXT week.”

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