The proposed in-depth study on special education is on its way to the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 3, which creates the Special Education Interim Study to study special education in South Dakota, was amended and passed by the House Education committee on an 11-3 vote and by the House on a 48-16 vote, before being concurred with by the Senate on a 31-2 vote.
The 14-member interim study – initially introduced as a 12-member task force – committee will review:
- To examine the diagnostic tools and assessments used to identify students in South Dakota schools in need of special education or special education and related services;
- To examine the disability categories that are rising at the greatest rate and review eligibility requirements;
- To review the funding levels of the disability categories;
- To examine the common costs associated with extraordinary cost fund applications, including out-of-district placements; and
- To develop recommendations to address the increasing costs of services.
ASBSD supports the bill, which emerged from the 2018 legislative interim study on the Extraordinary Cost Fund.
“We learned that there are a lot more issues around special education,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany told House Education committee members, adding there’s a “rising number of special needs kids” in public school districts.
“That trajectory of the number of students is quite steep and growing.”
The 14-member interim study committee will have five legislators, an advocate for a person with disabilities, three superintendents, a school board member, a special education director, a business manager and two other people, at least one being the parent of a child receiving special education services.