ACTION NEEDED: EMAIL LAWMAKERS TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION

 
Dear AUSD Community:

On February 16, 2018, Assemblymember O’Donnell introduced AB 3136 to amend California Education Code relating to Special Education funding. This bill addresses the critical need to reform the funding mechanism for Special Education to pay for the real cost of providing services to our children with disabilities.

AB 3136 would implement key fiscal recommendations by: 
  1. Addressing funding equity by leveling up base AB 602 funding rates to the 95th percentile.
  2. Establishing a formula within AB 602 for programs serving preschoolers with disabilities.
  3. Amending the current AB 602 formula to allow school districts to calculate based on individual school district average daily attendance (ADA).
  4. Implementing a funding mechanism to provide additional funding for students with significant high cost disabilities.
For Albany, an increase in Special Education funding would allow us to increase much needed services and programs and to recruit and retain highly qualified Special Education staff.

We have just learned that AB 3136 and AB 2808 will go before the Assembly Education Committee on the same date, April 11th. In addition to writing letters of support for AB 2808, I am asking the AUSD community to write to the politicians who represent Albany and to the members of the Assembly Education Committee to also support AB 3136. Letters sent by U.S. Mail have a bit more impact, but emails are tallied and do matter. Whatever you have time for will be a strong positive and will definitely help. Even calling and leaving a simple message that you want them to support AB 3136 will have an impact. Below is a letter you can send to our local lawmakers:  
I know that everyone’s time is valuable, but our children, especially our students with special needs, deserve to receive the best education possible.

Thank you for all that you do to support Albany Schools!

Val Williams
Superintendent
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SAMPLE LETTER:
 
 
March 27, 2018


Re: AB 3136 Special Education
Position: Support
  
Dear Lawmaker:

As a concerned parent/community member in the Albany Unified School District, I am writing to express my strong support for AB 3136, which would amend Sections 56836.06, 56836.11, and 56836.145 of, and to add Sections 56836.12 and 56836.146 to, the Education Code, relating to special education funding. This bill, which would significantly address special education funding issues in the state for its most vulnerable student population children with disabilities will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee on April 11, 2018, and we ask that you sign on as a co-author of this very important legislation.

We concur with several findings contained in the 2015 California Special Education Task Force (Special Education Task Force) and the 2016 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reports; acknowledge the fiscal challenges faced by school agencies and providing actions to improve the system and student outcomes. Both reports include these indisputable facts:
  • Special education in California is underfunded
  • Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) base rates are not equitable
  • The state needs to better support local infant and preschool special education programs
AB 3136 would implement key fiscal recommendations by:
  1. Addressing funding equity by leveling up base AB 602 funding rates to the 95th percentile.
  2. Establishing a formula within AB 602 for programs serving preschoolers with disabilities.
  3. Amending the current AB 602 formula to allow school districts the ability to calculate a declining enrollment adjustment based on individual school district average daily attendance (ADA), instead of aggregated SELPA ADA.
  4. Implementing a funding mechanism to provide additional funding for students with significant high cost disabilities.
Albany Unified School District grapples with increasing mandated special education expenditures and decreasing state and federal funding. The changes proposed in AB 3136 would assist every district to meet the educational needs of our students with disabilities. We strongly support AB 3136.
 
Sincerely,



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