PRINTER'S NO. 411
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY BROWNE, DINNIMAN, FOLMER, PILEGGI, TOMLINSON, VANCE, GREENLEAF, BOSCOLA, WAUGH, STACK, TEPLITZ, BAKER, YUDICHAK, SMUCKER, BLAKE, BREWSTER, ERICKSON, FARNESE, FONTANA, HUGHES, RAFFERTY, YAW, ARGALL, WASHINGTON, FERLO, EICHELBERGER, SOLOBAY AND BRUBAKER, FEBRUARY 8, 2013
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, FEBRUARY 8, 2013
1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
2act relating to the public school system, including certain
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
5laws relating thereto," in preliminary provisions,
6establishing the Special Education Funding Commission; in
7reimbursements by the Commonwealth and between school
8districts, further providing for definitions; and providing
9for the distribution of special education funding for student
10achievement and instruction of eligible students and for
11special education accountability.
1provided in this section.
7(ii) Two (2) legislators from each of the four (4)
8legislative caucuses, to be appointed by the President pro
9tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
10Representatives, in consultation with the Majority and Minority
11Leaders of the Senate and the Majority and Minority Leaders of
12the House of Representatives.
13(iii) The Secretary of Education, or a designee.
14(iv) The Secretary of the Budget, or a designee.
19(d) The commission shall hold its first meeting within
20thirty (30) days of the effective date of this section,
21regardless of whether the Governor or all legislative caucuses
22have actually approved members to the commission.
25(f) The members may not receive compensation for their
26services, but shall be reimbursed for all necessary travel and
27other reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the
28performance of their duties as members of the commission.
1commission to carry out its duties under this section in
2cooperation with the department. The department shall provide
3the commission with data, research and other information upon
4request by the commission.
5(h) The commission shall develop a special education formula
6and identify factors that may be used to determine the
7distribution of a change in special education funding among the
8school districts in this Commonwealth.
15(3) Receive input from interested parties, including, but
16not limited to, charter and cyber charter school operators, and
17gather information on the identification of children as eligible
18students by charter and cyber charter schools. The commission
19shall also receive input and gather information on charter and
20cyber charter school funding reimbursements regarding eligible
21students. The commission shall draft proposed regulations and
22proposed legislation based on its findings.
25(5) Issue a report of its findings and recommendations to
26the Governor, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the
27Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, the Education
28Committee of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
29Representatives, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the
30House of Representatives, the Education Committee of the House
5(i) Three (3) cost categories of eligible students,
6established so that students with disabilities typically
7requiring the least-intensive range of services would comprise
8Cost Category 1, students with disabilities typically requiring
9a middle range of services would comprise Cost Category 2 and
10students with disabilities typically requiring the most
11intensive range of services would comprise Cost Category 3. The
12commission shall determine a description of and parameters for
13each of the three (3) cost categories.
14(ii) A student count for each school district averaged for
15each of the three (3) most recent years for each cost category
16of eligible students. For Cost Category 3, the number of
17eligible students residing or enrolled in the school district
18and classified in Cost Category 3 shall be calculated in a
19manner that limits the potential incentive for school districts
20to overidentify, except for the number of eligible students who
21are placed by the school district and served in public or
22private separate schools, residential placements or homebound or
27(iv) Adjustments for any of the following:
8(vi) Development and implementation by the department of
9improved systems for collecting and documenting student
10enrollment and membership in public schools, including revised
11methods for calculating average daily membership.
16(8) In developing the special education funding factors
17under subsection (h) and in completing the report required under
18this subsection, consider the impact these factors may have on
19the distribution of special education funding among the school
3(k) Every five years the commission shall be reconstituted
4in accordance with subsection (c) and shall meet and hold public
5hearings to review the operation of the special education
6funding provisions of this section, shall make a further report
7and shall issue the report to the recipients listed in
8subsection (i)(5). When in receipt of a further report
9recommending changes to the special education funding formula,
10the General Assembly shall consider and take action to enact the
11formula into law in accordance with subsection (j).
12(l) The General Assembly shall, through the annual
13appropriations process, determine the level of State funding for
14special education and the amount of any change in funding. The
15special education formula developed under this section shall
16determine only the distribution of any increase in special
17education funding among the school districts of this
18Commonwealth above the amount of special education funding in
19the base year and shall not be used for any other purpose.
20(m) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary,
21for the 2013-2014 school year and each school year thereafter,
22any State funding for special education in an amount that does
23not exceed the amount of State funding for special education in
24the base year shall be allocated in the same manner as the State
25funding was allocated in the base year.
29"Base year." Fiscal year 2010-2011.
30"Commission." The Special Education Funding Commission
1established under this section.
9* * *
10(26) "Actual Spending." An amount equal to a school
11district's total expenditures to include General Fund
12expenditures in all functional classifications, as designated in
13the Manual of Accounting and Related Financial Procedures for
14Pennsylvania School Systems, except for:
15(i) actual special education spending;
16(ii) adult education;
17(iii) higher education;
18(iv) student transportation;
19(v) community services;
20(vi) scholarships and awards;
21(vii) facilities acquisition;
22(viii) construction and improvement services; and
23[(ix) other expenditures and financing uses; and]
24(x) tuition from patrons revenue.
25* * *
26(31) "Actual Special Education Spending." An amount equal to
27a school district's total annual expenditures for special
28education as established by the Department of Education and
29designated in the Manual of Accounting and Related Financial
30Procedures for Pennsylvania School Systems. The amount shall not
7(33) "Performance Indicators." Measurable annual objectives
8established by the Department of Education pursuant to section
9612(a)(15) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
10(Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(15)) to assess progress
11toward achieving State goals for the performance of eligible
16(i) in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
9Section 3. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
10Section 2509.13. Special Education Funding for Student
11Achievement and Instruction of Eligible Students.--(a) (1) The
12Department of Education shall utilize the funds under section
132509.8(e) in order to meet, to the extent that funds are
14available, extraordinary special education expenses not
15anticipated through the special education funding formula.
16School districts and charter and cyber charter schools may apply
17for resources through the fund under procedures established by
18the Department of Education. The Department of Education shall
19make payments from the fund in response to the applications.
23(3) As used in this subsection, "extraordinary special
24education expenses" shall mean expenses that result from needs
25and circumstances of an eligible student with significant
26disabilities which are not ordinarily present in a typical
27special education service and program delivery system and which
28have costs exceeding the school district or charter or cyber
29charter school funding for special education, in order to
30provide the student with an appropriate education in the least
2(b) (1) To the extent that funds are appropriated any year
3by the General Assembly, the Department of Education shall
4establish and implement a competitive grant program for school
5districts and charter schools meeting the following criteria:
6(i) Providing instruction within the regular classroom at
7least eighty percent (80%) of the school day for at least sixty-
8five percent (65%) of eligible students, as averaged for the two
9(2) most recent school years for which data are available or
10increasing the number of eligible students receiving instruction
11within the regular classroom by at least fifteen percent (15%)
12in the most recent school year for which data are available.
13(ii) In the most recent school year for which data are
14available, performance by eligible students on State academic
15assessments in reading and math, averaged for the entire
16district, meeting State standards for adequate yearly progress
17by any method approved by the Federal and State governments,
18such as by meeting the annual target, the confidence interval or
19the safe harbor target or by appeal.
23(2) The Department of Education shall develop guidelines for
24the administration of the grant program established under this
25subsection, which shall be allocated to school districts and
26charter schools on a competitive basis.
1(4) Nothing under paragraph (1) or any other provision of
2this act shall alter Federal or State law regarding the
3protections provided to an eligible student for receiving
4education in the least restrictive environment or shall alter
5the legal authority of individualized education program teams to
6make appropriate program and placement decisions for eligible
7students in accordance with the individualized education program
8developed for each eligible student.
9Section 2509.14. Special Education Funding for Eligible
10Students with Disabilities in Cost Category 3.--(a) For the
112014-2015 school year and each school year thereafter, the
12Department of Education shall set aside an amount not less than
13one percent (1%) of the State special education appropriation
14above the level of the appropriation in the base year. The
15Department of Education shall distribute this amount as provided
16in subsection (b).
17(b) For the 2014-2015 school year and each school year
18thereafter, each school district in this Commonwealth shall
19receive a pro rata share of the amount set aside under
20subsection (a) based upon the number of eligible students
21residing or enrolled in each school district and classified in
22Cost Category 3 during the immediately preceding school year.
23(c) The funding provided under this section shall be
24accounted for as part of actual special education spending and
25as part of the special education allocation received by a school
26district, according to the definitions in section 2501. School
27districts shall also account for the funding provided under this
28section and the resulting services and supports for eligible
29students through the special education plans, revisions, updates
30and amendments required by section 2509.15.
1Section 2509.15. Special Education Accountability.--(a) (1)
2The Department of Education shall determine the form and manner
3in which school districts shall submit a special education plan
4and revisions, updates and amendments to the special education
5plan under this section. The special education plan shall be
6consistent with other existing plans and reports required by the
7Department of Education to the greatest extent possible. Special
8education plans shall be written in a manner that is easy to use
9and understand by parents and the public, including a general
11(2) The Department of Education shall:
20(v) provide guidance related to plan resubmission.
24(i) meet the requirements of this section;
25(ii) address the academic and developmental challenges for
26eligible students identified in the school district's most
27recent student achievement results and pursuant to performance
1(iv) describe policies of the school district to ensure that
2a student identified as having a disability is no longer
3identified as such if the student no longer qualifies under 22
4Pa. Code Ch. 14 (relating to special education services and
5programs), or any successor regulation.
6(4) Upon disapproving a school district's special education
7plan, update or revision submitted under this section, the
8Department of Education may withhold the portion of the annual
9State increase in special education funding which exceeds the
10index until a written special education plan, update or revision
12(5) The Secretary of Education shall involve as appropriate
13in special education monitoring, support, intervention,
14technical assistance and special education plan review by the
15Department of Education, the staff in relevant offices, bureaus
16and divisions of the Department of Education, as well as any
17other resources as appropriate.
18(b) (1) Pursuant to the timetable set forth in section 218,
19each school district receiving an increase in its State special
20education funding allocation of more than the index shall update
21its special education plan by attaching the district's special
22education expenditures as reported on the annual financial
23reports and shall submit the updates and revisions to the
24Department of Education for approval under subsection (a). The
25Department of Education shall allow a district to meet the
26requirements of this section by adding the information as an
27appendix to the existing plan.
3(3) The Department of Education shall identify resources for
4programs and supports that benefit eligible students and
5contribute to achievement of performance indicators and address
6the following areas or related areas:
7(i) curricula adaptation;
9(iii) assistive technology;
10(iv) school-wide positive behavior supports;
11(v) supplementary aids and services;
12(vi) professional development;
13(vii) reading services and supports;
24(1) The Department of Education shall issue to the General
25Assembly a comprehensive annual report on special education
26funding, special education plans, the implementation of 22 Pa.
27Code § 14.104 (relating to special education plans) and other
28special education accountability issues for public school
29entities serving eligible students and this Commonwealth.
30(2) Upon disapproving a school district's special education
1plan, update or revision, the Department of Education may
2withhold the portion of the annual State increase in special
3education funding which exceeds the index until a written
4special education plan, update or revision is approved.
5(3) (i) The Department of Education shall:
15(D) determine whether to withhold up to five percent (5%) of
16all State special education funding for school districts
17identified under this clause while the identified problems
19(ii) If the Department of Education determines that a school
20district is making substantial progress toward resolving the
21identified problems, it shall restore the withheld funding
22retroactively and continue to monitor the district for an
23additional two (2) years.
24(4) (i) To discourage the inappropriate overidentification
25of children for special education, the Department of Education
26shall automatically conduct a thorough review of the special
27education plan of any school district with a substantially
28higher ratio of eligible students in the district to its average
29daily membership for all students than the State average, as
30established by the Department of Education, and of any district
1where the ratio of eligible students in the school district to
2its average daily membership for all students in the most recent
3school year for which data is available has increased by more
4than ten percent (10%) over the previous year or of any district
5where the ratio has increased by an annual average of more than
6five percent (5%) during the most recent five-year period. The
7Department of Education may take remedial action, including
8withholding up to five percent (5%) of all State special
9education funding, if the Department of Education determines
10that a school district has overidentified children for special
12(ii) Nothing in this paragraph or any other provision of
13this act shall be construed to alter Federal or State law
14regarding the protections provided to an eligible student for
15receiving education in the least restrictive environment or
16alter the legal authority of individualized eduction program
17teams to make appropriate program and placement decisions for
18eligible students in accordance with the individualized
19education program developed for each eligible student.
20(d) In rendering a decision or determining remedial action
21under this section, the Department of Education shall consider
22extraordinary circumstances which a school district subject to
23review is experiencing, including a substantial reduction in
24Federal or State funds or other factors beyond the control of
25the school district. The Department of Education shall issue to
26any affected school district a notice specifying the Department
27of Education's decisions and actions under this section and the
28rationale for the decisions and actions. A school district may
29file a written response to the Department of Education about the
30Department of Education's decisions and actions regarding the
1district made under this section. The written response must be
2submitted to the Department of Education within thirty (30)
3calendar days of the Department of Education's notice or within
4thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the notice, whichever is
5later. The Department of Education shall consider the written
6response, consult with the school district and, within thirty
7(30) calendar days after receiving the written response, issue a
8written decision addressing the concerns and claims made in the
9written response, explaining the judgment of the Department of
10Education in response to these concerns and claims, and
11specifying the opportunity to appeal this matter to the
12Secretary of Education for a hearing under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5
13Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth
14agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of
15Commonwealth agency action) and 1 Pa. Code Pt. II (relating to
16general rules of administrative practice and procedure). If
17requested, the Secretary of Education shall convene a hearing
18within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of a school
19district's hearing request. The Secretary of Education shall
20render a written hearing decision within thirty (30) calendar
21days following the hearing.
24(f) Nothing under this section shall supersede or preempt
25any provisions of a collective bargaining agreement between a
26school entity and an employe organization in effect on the
27effective date of this section.
4Section 2509.16. Data Collection.--Using existing resources
5and data systems as well as nationally accepted accounting and
6modeling standards, the Department of Education shall collect
7data necessary for accurate functioning of a special education
8formula developed under section 122, including, but not limited
9to, data necessary for the calculations related to Cost Category
101, Cost Category 2 and Cost Category 3 as part of the formula
11developed by the commission. The Department of Education shall
12begin collecting such data upon the effective date of this
14Section 2509.17. Protections.--Nothing under the provisions
15of this act shall alter Federal or State law regarding the
16protections provided to an eligible student for receiving
17education in the least restrictive environment or shall alter
18the legal authority of individualized education program teams to
19make appropriate program and placement decisions for eligible
20students in accordance with the individualized education program
21developed for each eligible student.
22Section 4. The Secretary of Education shall propose
23regulations for promulgation by the State Board of Education
24which implement the amendment or addition of the following
25provisions of the act:
26(1) Section 122.
29(3) Section 2509.13.
30(4) Section 2509.14.
1(5) Section 2509.15.
2(6) Section 2509.16.
3(7) Section 2509.17.
4Section 5. This act shall take effect immediately.