House Passes Special Ed Bill — The Pennsylvania House voted unanimously last week in support of legislation to address the state’s distribution of special education funding, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
House Bill 2 would create a 15-member legislative commission on special education funding to develop a new formula for distributing any increases in funding over the levels distributed in the 2010-11 school year.
The commission would be expected to develop a more effective funding formula that must meet certain requirements, including: establishing three cost categories for students receiving special education services, ranging from least intensive to most intensive; obtaining a student count for each school district averaged for the three most recent school years to correspond to each cost category; assigning a weight to each category of disability; and developing a fair system for distributing increases among school districts to determine the amount of funding that each school will receive under the new formula.
In addition, the commission would be required to issue a report of its findings no later than Sept. 30.
Currently, state funding for special education is distributed based on an estimate that special education students make up 16 percent of the overall student population in each school district.
House Bill 2 now goes to the Senate for consideration.