On June 4th the Pennsylvania Senate passed a special education reform bill (SB 1115); it will now move to the Pennsylvania House. There are several resources about this bill online as part of www.reformspecialedfunding.org.
The bill, as amended, provides for:
o Increase the accuracy of the special education formula by using three weights;
o Establish a transparent process to set the final formula weights and other formula components through a legislative commission and subsequent regulation;
o Maintain spending at current levels for 2012-13;
o Streamline and strengthen school district accountability without imposing excess bureaucracy, applied when sufficient funds are appropriated in future years;
o Maintain the Contingency Fund and make it more accountable and transparent; and
o Seek cost savings and efficiencies in state administrative operations and by helping to avoid the over-identification of students for special education.
o Provide for the establishment of an effective formula to distribute state funding for special education, without creating compulsory annual targets or limiting the discretion of the General Assembly;