Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is encouraged to see Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers’ proposal to invest an additional $600 million in funding for special education in Wisconsin. After almost a decade of flat funding, the proposal helps to finally address the serious gap in state funding for special education and alleviate the pressure on school districts across the State who have shouldered the majority of rising costs of providing special education services and supports.
“Disability Rights Wisconsin has advocated for increases in special education funding for many years. Working with students with disabilities, and their families on a daily basis, we have seen the erosion of quality special education across the state and families dissatisfied with the impact on their child’s education,” says DRW Lead Advocate Sally Flaschberger. Superintendent Evers proposal would more than double the current reimbursement rate from 27% to 60% by the end of 2019.
While the Governor and the state legislators have provided additional funding for special education in other areas of the last budget, they took a pass on increased funding for special education categorical aid. No increases in special education categorical aid funding has forced school districts to make tough choices on how to provide appropriate levels of support to students with disabilities. During the Blue Ribbon Commission hearings, the committee heard over and over, from speakers across the state, about the need for additional special education funding.
Disability Rights Wisconsin looks forward to hearing more details of the plan to increase special education funding in the next biennium.