Manar’s SB231 attacks special ed funding.

EP-141118612 (1)Senator Andy Manar.

-Bev Johns

Senate Bill 231, with 3 amendments, sponsored by Illinois State Senator Andy Manar, was NOT voted on Thursday despite two email Alerts sent yesterday by the main group supporting SB 231 (Funding Illinois Future) stating a vote would take place in the Illinois State Senate on Thursday.

The Illinois House and Senate will not be back in Springfield until May 10. HAVE YOU CONTACTED YOUR STATE SENATOR AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO OPPOSE THE SPECIAL EDUCATION PARTS OF SENATE BILL 231?

Amendment #3 changes the special education part of SB 231.

The bill would still establish a formula Block Grant for special ed (completely eliminating the $9,000 per special education teacher and other professionals working full-time with students with IEPs – completely eliminating dedicated and specific funding for special education).

As Manar has stated, local school districts under SB 231 could spend the formula Block Grant for special education in any way that they wanted to spend it, on any student or for any purpose.

The Manar bill would base special ed funding NOT on child count, not on the number of students with IEPs, but instead on a guess (a number REPRESENTATIVE) made by ISBE on the number of students with disabilities in Illinois (which no one knows or can know).

Amendment #3 changes AVERAGE to WEIGHTED-AVERAGE only for the formula special education Block Grant  (this change was NOT made for any of the other Block Grants).

So now SB 231 reads that funding will be provided based on a Weighting Percentage established by the State Board of Education prior to the start of each State fiscal year representative of the statewide weighted-average percentage of students with disabilities based on the most recent data collected by the State Board of Education.

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