Voters support ‘major increase’ in special education funding

A large majority of Wisconsin’s registered voters – 74 percent – agree with Governor Evers that there should be a “major increase” in state aid for special education, according to results from the latest Marquette University Law School poll. As part of his state budget plan, Evers has proposed a $600 million increase.

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Evers to seek 163% increase in special education funding

State Superintendent Tony Evers said Monday he will seek a 163% increase in special education funding in his next biennial budget request. WEAC President Ron Martin applauded Evers’ announcement, saying that years of underfunding of special education has worsened under Scott Walker. “It’s incredibly important at a time when so many children have unique needs that we provide the resources needed so all kids can be successful no matter their learning style or ability,” he said.

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Special education enrollment increasing

“The number of students receiving special education in the nation’s public schools is on the rise, according to a new federal report. There were 6.7 million kids with disabilities in classrooms across the country during the 2015-2016 school year, accounting for 13.2 percent of all students. That’s up from 6.6 million the year prior.” (From disabilityscoop.com)

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Madison West teacher helps students with special needs find meaningful jobs

For Fred Swanson, a Madison West High School transition teacher for students with special needs, helping students graduate from high school is important but it isn’t the end of the road. Swanson goes that extra mile to help them find meaningful employment and transition into the community.

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Legislative Update – April 24

Bill increases state aid for special education and school age parents programs to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s costs … Bill would raise early retirement age from 50 to 52 for protective services employees and from 55 to 60 for general employees, and change the calculation for a participant’s final average earning from the highest 3 years to the highest 5 years … Series of bills introduced to restrict the ability of school districts to win passage of local referendums … Bill would require DPI to first submit its ESSA plan to the Assembly and Senate education committees for approval before it goes to the federal government … Joint Finance Committee to begin state budget deliberations … Senate Education Committee will hold an executive session on bills related to recovery charter schools and a mental health training program.

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