Legislative Updates and Special Education

Welcome back from what promises to be a fast and furious second semester of the 2015 – 2016 school year. It is already well under way with students moving, personnel changes, and yes – legislative updates that may have a variety of influences on us. It is time to TAKE ACTION! Please stay current, stay aware, and stay involved with not only SEAA but also your local legislatures, school attorneys, superintendents and staff, and families to help educate and empower them on making sound, thoughtful choices for our students.

The Empowerment Scholarship Account Study Committee is moving fast to make recommendations that will have profound implications on local education agencies. To highlight a few:

  • The definition being proposed for an Annual Education Plan is an intent to clearly delineate “Annual Education Plan” from the Individualized Education Plan.
  • The proposal infers students continue on an Annual Education Plan and have access to the ESA through 22 years of age, as current statute expects students to exit within the traditional 4-year cohort which has resulted in students with incredibly complex needs and severe disabilities being exited before they have met an individualized course of study and transition plan.
  • The proposal intends to have the “Annual Education Plan” be reviewed on an annual basis for students 17 – 22 years of age, identify from the onset a student’s projected date of graduation, and make an annual determination as to whether the student continues to qualify for the ESA or whether they have met graduation requirements and can be exited.

Read the ESA Draft (click here to download). Talk with your peers and colleagues. Stay connected and give input to us so we can work with others to find a balance in student needs, parent choice, provision of FAPE, and positive outcomes for all.