Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Send special ed funding directly to districts, not regional agencies, report says | EdSource

Send special ed funding directly to districts, not regional agencies, report says | EdSource:

Send special ed funding directly to districts, not regional agencies, report says
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The state should dismantle its system for distributing special education funding for California’s 718,000 students with disabilities and send the money – billions of dollars – directly to local school districts, according to a much anticipated report that’s expected to draw the attention of Gov. Jerry Brown and state education leaders.
The recommendations, made by researchers at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California and released Tuesday, would upend the way special education finance has worked in the state for nearly 40 years and potentially put out of business 133 regional special education agencies known as Special Education Local Plan Areas, or SELPAs.
State money for special education would be folded into the Local Control Funding Formula, completing Brown’s goal of creating a unified funding system for all children. Funding earmarked for students with disabilities would continue to be spent for general special education, but districts would have “no firm restrictions on use,” the report recommended. Districts would have more flexibility to respond to individual needs earlier, before formally designating students as having disabilities.
“We recognize some may find this option threatening,” said the PPIC report’s authors, led by Laura Hill and Paul Warren. “Nevertheless, we view it as a critical step towards a more integrated system of special and general education.”
If Brown and the Legislature were to adopt the recommendations, school districts would face new challenges to ensure students are properly identified as needing Send special ed funding directly to districts, not regional agencies, report says | EdSource:


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