Finally! One of the first things I pushed for on this blog almost four years ago was the funding for students designated as basic special education in Kindergarten to 3rd Grade. Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams just put the following on her Facebook page:
I am so thankful that the Joint Finance Committee voted to include funding for K-3 basic special education services in the budget. This funding will support necessary services that will help students close learning gaps and move forward to have bright futures.
This has been a true collaborative effort with my colleagues, especially Rep. Smith and Sen. Nicole Poore, my prime Senate sponsor, and I truly appreciate their leadership. These services will become a reality thanks to the advocacy of Delaware State Education Association, parents throughout the state and the many advocates coming together to support our youngest learners. Our children deserve our best efforts to help them learn and succeed through life.
Amen Kim! As I’ve always said, many kids develop their disabilities in these grades. Even though schools are obligated by Federal law to provide special education no matter what grade they are in, this obstacle to the funding schools would get sometimes led to students not getting the services they deserve. In some cases, schools would deny an IEP creating a toxic relationship with parents. Kim has worked hard for this ever since I met her all those years ago. She is the best education legislator in the state and she will ALWAYS have my support.
We don’t agree 100% of the time, but I will take those rare times any day because what she has done for Delaware education is nothing short of astounding! A big thank you to DSEA, Senator Nicole Poore, Rep. Melanie Smith, Delaware PTA, and all the parents who pushed for this as well!
The Delaware Joint Finance Committee put the funding in the budget today. Of course, the Delaware General Assembly has to approve the budget as a whole by June 30th, but I am confident they will do the right thing with this. Delaware’s projected surplus for FY2019 went up yesterday as the Delaware Economic Forecast Advisory Committee added $80 million to the surplus.
Updated, 5:32pm: The amount budgeted for the Basic Special Education for students in K-3 is $2.9 million. As well, $3.6 million went in for Reading Specialists for students in Kindergarten to 4th grade. It also looks like $2 million that was cut in last year’s FY2018 budget will be restored for school transportation.