Date: January 18th, 2023
Bill: S.F. 0008 – Special Education Cross Subsidy Aid Appropriation
Dear Chair Kunesh and Members of the Education Finance Committee,
We are writing to you in support of S.F. 8, Subdiv. 5, to add funding to the cross-subsidy that funds special education in Minnesota. Our current funding formula that supports schools from the federal and state levels continuously leaves a gap in resources for local school districts to fulfill their I.D.E.A. obligations. We are accountable for providing a free and appropriate public education, including special education programs, support, accommodations, and staffing.
Currently, the special education funding gap is covered by local levies on property taxes and by using general funds to cover these required obligations for schools. Unfortunately, this funding approach has resulted in significant disparities across the state. Supporting our students with disabilities and the crucial I.E.P. process should not rely on levies and moving funding for general expenses into special education. Wherever a family chooses to live across the state, they should have the complete resources and supports that their student needs. Therefore, we support subdivision 5’s one-time funding and encourage the committee to consider it an ongoing funding commitment.
Ensuring our students with disabilities have the best possible education will improve their academic and social-emotional learning and support them through transitioning out of public education and into adulthood with independence and empowerment.
Public Policy Director
Minnesota Council on Disability