On Wednesday, Senator Scott Wilk, R- Santa Clarita, announced that his bill supporting the funding of students with disabilities, Senate Joint Resolution 4 (SJR 4), passed the Senate with unanimous support.
SJR 4, a bill encouraging the state to meet its funding obligations to students with disabilities, passed in the state senate with unanimous support, according to officials in Senator Wilk’s office.
“This year has been unlike any other for students around the country, and the impacts of the pandemic are disproportionately felt by students with disabilities,” Wilk said. “In California alone, IDEA funding serves approximately 800,000 students, but the funding available simply cannot be stretched far enough to meet their needs.”
SJR 4 urges the 117th Congress to fulfill its obligation to the special education community by fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), passed by Congress in 1975 to ensure students with disabilities receive the academic support needed to succeed, according to a statement by Wilk.
“Congress has an obligation to make good on its promise and ensure the federal government pays 40 percent of the average cost to educate a child with disabilities,” Wilk said. “2021 is the year to get this done. These students deserve, and were promised, nothing less.”
IDEA guaranteed the federal government would pay 40 percent of all special education costs. But the federal government has failed to keep this promise, according to Wilk’s office.
Since 1988 IDEA has funded on average just under 14 percent of its obligation, making it harder for school districts to provide critical services to pupils with disabilities, according to Wilk’s office.
In California, IDEA serves about 800,000 students, and SJR 4 reminds Congress that IDEA was meant as a guarantee, not an empty promise to be cast aside once passed, according to officials.
“This is something that everyone—Democrats, Republicans, and independents — can and should support, and I am hopeful that this will be the year that the federal government finally keeps its promise to our pupils with disabilities,” Wilk said.
To read the text of SJR 4, or to learn more about the bill, click here.Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com
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