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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 23, 2016 09:04 AM
From: Representative Bernie O'Neill
To: All House members
Subject: Special Education Funding Commission Legislation
In the near future I plan on introducing legislation to implement the general recommendations of the Special Education Funding Commission. The provisions included in the legislation are as follows:
  • Funding Formula for School Districts – Codifies the new formula to distribute special education funding to school districts, which we have utilized to distribute funding for the last two years. The formula distributes increases in special education funding over 2013-14 levels and uses three cost categories for students receiving special education services, ranging from least intensive to most intensive. It also reflects community levels of relative wealth, tax effort, and school district size and population density in order to ensure a fair and accurate distribution of funds.
  • Special Education Payments to Charter Schools – Applies the same funding principles used in the formula for school districts to determine a school district’s payment for a student enrolled in a charter school. These provisions include a gradual phase-in that has the effect of applying the new methodology to only newly enrolled students.
  • Approved Private Schools – Provides for unspent funds to be redistributed to allow additional services to be provided where there is capacity.
  • Special Education Contingency Fund – Provides for funds to be used for per-student expenses exceeding $75,000 and that no school district would be entitled to receive more from the fund than its percentage of the total special education students in the state. These provisions have been included in the Fiscal Code and utilized to distribute the contingency funding for the last two years.
If you have any questions on this legislation, please contact Jeannie Dougherty in my Harrisburg office at 705-7170 or by e-mailing jdougher@pahousegop.com.

Thank you for your consideration and support of this very important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB2227