Currently viewing the tag: "SB 940"

The Harrisburg Patriot-News ran our new Op-Ed on Tuesday, just as hearings in the Capitol began for the proposed 2010-2011 education budget: Status_quo_won’t_work_on_PA_special_ed_funding.

Here’s the full text:

Status quo won’t work on Pennsylvania special ed funding

Children with disabilities often experience tremendous challenges when they reach adulthood. National research shows that about 70 percent of all adults with disabilities are unemployed.

That often translates to a greater reliance on public benefits and significant isolation from the world of work, taxes, elections, shopping malls and everything else that constitutes full participation in Pennsylvania community life.

Ensuring a quality education for all children in all public schools in Pennsylvania is the first step in preventing this unfortunate outcome.

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Our Op-Ed on the pending special education funding and accountability legislation was published in a trio of papers during the past few days.

Centre Daily Times: Support_funding_to_educate_children_with_disabilities

Pocono Record: Disabled_kids_face_a_school_funding_imbalance

York Daily Record: All_kids_count: Fairly_fund_special_education

State funding for special education was not cut for 2009-10.

Every school district will receive the same state funding for special education as in 2008-09.  See a detailed spreadsheet here.  This is a major victory, as nearly all other education line items were cut.
In addition, every school district is receiving lots of new federal stimulus funding for special education services and programs. Your efforts over the last 14 months helped to protect special education resources.

Together, we advocated for a new state system for special education funding and accountability.  Our voices were heard and cuts were avoided, even in this historically tough budget year.  Thank you for helping to make this happen.

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Nearly 400 school district are underfunding special education

Nearly 400 school districts are underfunding special education

In 2008, Pennsylvania adopted a landmark funding formula for basic education, putting more dollars into the neediest schools and implementing rigorous accountability measures for school districts. However, special education students have been left out of the equation.

A coalition of groups is now sending the message that it’s time for the General Assembly to approach special education funding with the same sharp eye its members approached basic education funding in 2008.

House Bill 704 and Senate Bill 940 have strong bipartisan support and are ready to be adopted.

Go to the About page to read the campaign’s  Core Principles.

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The Bucks County Courier Times published an Op-Ed on HB 704:

Here’s the link: Special education funding falls short of meeting need

And here’s the article:

Special education funding falls short of meeting need
By: COLLEEN TOMKO AND BARUCH KINTISCH
Bucks County Courier Times

Next week the House Education Committee will vote on legislation fixing the state system for special education funding and accountability. House Bill 704, if enacted into law, would provide increased independence for children with disabilities by giving schools the resources they need to provide them with a quality education.

Pennsylvania last year adopted a landmark school funding formula for basic education, putting more dollars into the neediest schools and implementing rigorous accountability measures for school districts for the first time in 20 years. However, students who receive special education services were left out of the equation.

Our state legislators have heard – loud and clear – the message that it’s time to tackle funding and accountability reforms for students with disabilities, and have introduced legislation addressing many of the long-standing deficiencies in the state’s special education system.

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This is it. Big push this week. The House Education Committee will vote on House Bill 704 on Wednesday, July 1 in the morning.

Please contact your committee members and talk with them about voting for HB 704.

With a little more effort, we will be successful in reforming the special education funding and accountability system in Pennsylvania.  Wednesday next week is the one and only vote needed for Representative Sturla’s House Bill 704 to be adopted in to law with the budget this year.

If the House Education Committee votes in favor of the bill, the leaders of the General Assembly will start to negotiate about including the bill in the final School Code Bill and Budget for 2009-10.

In addition, Senator Dinniman and 13 co-sponsors recently introduced Senate Bill 940, which is almost identical to House Bill 704.  No action is expected on S.B. 940; the House Bill will take the lead.

The House Education Committee members are listed below.  Click on the links to find the contact information for each member.

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Sen. Dinniman (D-19) yesterday introduced SB 940, a nearly identical version of HB 704, that would reform special education funding and accountability in Pennsylvania.

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