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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=27057
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 17, 2018 12:23 PM
From: Representative Francis X. Ryan
To: All House members
Subject: RESOLUTION - URGING CONGRESS TO FUND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION
 
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce (former HR120) a resolution urging Congress of the United States to fund the costs associated with special education ~ children with disabilities in our schools.

Our children with disabilities, as with all our children, deserve our undivided attention and our help. The inconsistency of programs for our children in our schools and the almost impossible budgeting difficulties for our schools and communities has led to substantial problems throughout our Commonwealth.

In order to provide for these children and families, and relieve schools of between 12% to 17% or more of their annual budgets, I am asking that we send a strong message to our federal government that unfunded mandates are damaging to our citizens and our Commonwealth.

For instance, unfunded mandates in the area of education have saddled schools, local communities, and taxpayers with burdens of unparalleled proportions. For education costs, schools rely on state and property taxes to fund these unfunded mandates as well as any locally desired programs.

I have personally seen the impact of this unfunded mandate during the 28 years I volunteered on the board of directors for a home and school for children with disabilities and emotional and behavioral problems.

Unfortunately, the federal government’s prescription for helping children with disabilities and for their families, has been to leave it to be shared by the local community and school district to deal with the after effects which leaves these children and their families very vulnerable.

This unsatisfactory funding approach puts parents of children with disabilities in the unfortunate position of searching for school districts that have programs that meet the diverse needs of their children.

Equally problematic, the school district finds that its ability to budget is significantly impacted by the unknown costs associated with such a varying degree of disabilities.

In other words, the federal government creates a requirement but provides no funding such that property taxes must be increased. In short the federal government pits neighbor against neighbor all because the balance of power was disturbed and Executive powers of the federal government have gone unchecked.

Our children with disabilities and their families deserve our utmost respect and admiration. Additionally our homeowners deserve to be insulated as well. It is a very challenging problem which can be solved if we all work together.

Please join with me in co-sponsoring this most important resolution.



Introduced as HR10