Brett Schaeffer 0

Protect Students with Disabilities: Support HB 2138 and SB 1316

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Thousands of families and advocates for children with disabilities spent tireless hours over the past several years urging members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to address the critical need for special education funding reforms.

The first step toward those reforms — the creation of a legislative Special Education Funding commission to examine and propose system-wide changes — was approved three different times by the full Senate and twice by the full House of Representatives, and was signed by the Governor last year.

The Special Education Funding Commission worked diligently and traveled the state to learn from all interested stakeholders about special education costs, services, and best practices. After months of hearings and extensive feedback from numerous organizations and individuals, the Commission released its report late last year. The report makes sound recommendations for fixing Pennsylvania’s broken system of special education funding.

Please support that important work.

House Bill 2138, and its companion, Senate Bill 1316, represent the Commission’s recommendations and a huge step toward fixing the state’s erroneous system for special education funding. Put simply, this broken system impacts whether or not Pennsylvania’s 270,000 students with disabilities receive a quality education. The broken funding system also affects the quality of services available for students without special needs and contributes to property tax increases.

Overall, the proposed legislation provides, for the first time, an efficient and equitable formula for distributing special education dollars that aligns resources with true costs of serving students.

Children with disabilities, and all children throughout Pennsylvania, will benefit from your leadership in fixing this broken system for special education funding and accountability.

Please work with us to help ensure passage of House Bill 2138 and Senate Bill 1316 and the much-needed reforms to the special education structure in Pennsylvania.

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