Do you have a child with disabilities attending a Delaware public school? Then you may want to take action now, before your child’s special educational needs are put in jeopardy.
Calling All Delaware Families of Children With Disabilities!
The Delaware General Assembly is considering action that could result in the diversion of funds currently used to educate children with disabilities in our public schools. Contact members of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee today and urge them not to take these funds away, so that the education of our children with disabilities is not jeopardized.
Proposed Budget Change to Special Education Funding
The General Assembly’s proposed budget bill has language in its fine print that would allow some of the state’s school districts the “financial flexibility” to take money that is currently given to the districts for specific purposes, and instead use it for any purpose that the school district sees fit.
This is called Flexible Funding and could impact many Delaware public schools and the children with disabilities who attend these schools.
The Impact of Flexible Funding on Special Education
While some special education funds are protected from this Flexible Funding initiative, basic special education funds — the state special education dollars that are set aside for education of students with less severe disabilities — are included in the initiative and would be available for schools to allocate elsewhere.
The majority of students with disabilities in our public schools are educated with these basic special education funds.
School districts receive these extra basic special education funds based on how many children with disabilities they report attending their schools. These extra funds were created by the state for the purpose of ensuring that students with disabilities, who are more expensive to educate, receive the educational resources necessary to help them fulfill their potential.
State budget approval of Flexible Funding will be detrimental for many students with disabilities!
Contact Your Delaware Representatives Today!
It is irresponsible, and ultimately harmful to children with disabilities, to allow schools to spend those dollars on other needs. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is considering the state’s budget bill right now, so we urge you to contact the members of the committee to let them know how important the preservation of special education funding is to you.
When contacting a committee member, use the wording, Flexible Funding, to reference the special education funding in question.
The members of the Joint Finance Committee are listed below. Contact them today and voice your concerns.
Joint Finance Committee Chairs:
- Melanie George Smith – (302) 577-8473, Melanie.G.Smith@state.de.us
- Harris McDowell – (302) 744-4269, Harris.McDowell@state.de.us
Joint Finance Committee Members:
- William J. Carson, Jr., Smyrna – (302) 744-4193 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Debra Heffernan, Brandywine Hundred – (302) 744-4030 email@example.com
- James JJ Johnson, New Castle – (302) 577-5312 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Harvey Kenton, Kent/Sussex County – (302) 744-4267 Harvey.Kenton@state.de.us
- Joseph Miro, Pike Creek/Newark – (302) 577-8723 email@example.com
- Brian Bushweller, Dover – (302) 744-4035 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bruce Ennis, Middletown/Smyrna – (302) 744-4035 email@example.com
- Karen Peterson, Newport – (302) 577-5305 Karen.Peterson@state.de.us
- David Lawson, Lower Kent/Sussex County – (302) 744-4237 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Catherine Cloutier, Brandywine Hundred – (302) 744-4197 email@example.com
If you are concerned about the educational needs of students with disabilities, please send a letter and/or an email stating your disagreement to Flexible Funding to your representative NOW!
We Are Here To Help
Please contact Delaware Family Voices if you have any questions about the Flexible Funding issue, or would like guidance on how to have your voice heard. Our goal is to ensure the State hears all voices, and understands those issues vital to families of children with special needs.