State Rep. Kim Williams (D-19) has introduced a bill to provide State funding for basic special education in kindergarten through the third grade. Currently, and oddly, funding for special education classes does not begin until the 4th grade. “This bill is an effort to promote earlier identification and assistance for basic special education needs which should then mitigate costs over the long term. Pursuant to its terms, funding for K-3 special education will be phased in gradually over 4 years.”
She introduced a similar bill in 2017, and that bill got released favorably from the House Education Committee only to be trapped again in the House Appropriations Committee, where it remained from January 2017 until the end of the session in June 2019.
House Bill 48 will be heard in the House Education Committee tomorrow at 2:30 in the House Chambers. Please attend the public meeting or email the House Education Committee members asking them to release this bill. Click on this link and then on the names of the committee members, their email address will be posted on their profile page.
Where is the bill now? House Education Committee as of 1/24/19
Democratic Sponsors: K.Williams, Poore, Sturgeon, Lockman, McDowell, Paradee, Sokola, Townsend, Walsh, Baumbach, Bennett, Brady, Chukwuocha, Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, Jaques, Kowalko, Lynn, Matthews, Osienski, Seigfried, Viola
Republican Sponsors: Briggs King, Smith, Spiegelman
Thank you so much for posting about this important bill. The bill was released from the House Education Committee and now goes into the House Appropriations Committee. In last year’s budget, $2.8 million was provided to partially fund basic spec ed students in k through 3rd grades. We are looking for the state to fully fund this. The state allocates millions for pre-k programs and fully funds intensive and complex students in all grades but does not provide funding for basic spec ed students until 4th grade, leaving a huge gap. The schools must provide services and they do but with no funding. Everyone knows early intervention is one of the keys to a child’s success, not sure what we are all waiting for. Thanks again.