The legislation, on which the Representatives testified, An Act relative to special education funding, pertained specifically to special education reimbursement programs, as well as reform in the funding of special education programs.
Under this bill, special education costs would require reimbursement when exceeding three times the state average per student budget rather than the previous rate of four times the state average.
Additionally, legislation was proposed that would require the school district in which the child is a resident be financially responsible for educational costs associated with the child should he or she change school districts. The district of original residency would remain responsible for the costs of the child’s education until the end of the fiscal year.
“Special education funding has been a top priority for every school committee in my district. I believe strongly that the intent of the original law was for this formula to be three times the foundation budget. If passed, our districts would receive the resources they so sorely deserve. I look forward to a continued dialogue with my districts and colleagues on this very important issue,” Representative Hill said.
“I welcomed the opportunity to testify before the Joint Committee on Education at a hearing today regarding my bill,” Representative David Muradian stated. “I believe that we as a Commonwealth owe it to our communities to invest in our schools, and our children. This bill seeks to have the state pick up more of the special education funding costs, leaving additional monies to our schools. It is my hope that we can accomplish this during this session, and I will continue to proudly advocate supporting our children.”
“It has always been a priority of mine to increase funding to our local school districts,” said Kelcourse. “The reimbursement of special education transportation funding would allow schools in our district to receive funds for transportation and use that savings for other resources and programs. It was a privilege to speak before the Joint Committee on Education along with Representative Brad Hill and Representative David Muradian in support of these bills. It is essential that the state make funding local education our top priority.”