Education Bill

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 4/14/98.

Under education, $71 million was earmarked to help implement the graduation standards which will be phased in over the next three years. All districts will receive an additional $52 per pupil in 1999. However, a district that fully implements the graduation rule next year will receive $66 per pupil. Each year beyond 1999, districts receive $43 per pupil for staff development.

The special education provisions attempt to reduce the amount of paper work and litigation costs by using health care providers in the school. Districts are encouraged to mediate disputes to avoid the expense of litigation from parents who take schools to court demanding one on one attention for their special needs child. The state is directed to pay districts 100 percent of the special education expenses and 50 percent of attorney’s fees for due process hearings.

When asked about the three extra school days made mandatory last year, Stang and Fischbach said the three days are still there. They were unable to get them eliminated from the school year calendar. Speaker Phil Carruthers added the provision last year and he would not back off the issue this year. The Senate attempted to convert the three days to staff development days but was not successful.

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