Members were appointed to the committee set to study an area of education funding this summer.
The legislature’s Executive Board voted to approve the appointment of 13 legislators to the study of the state’s extraordinary cost fund, which districts can apply for to receive additional funding for special education costs.
The legislators include: Representatives Dan Ahlers, Hugh Bartels, Mary Duvall, Lana Greenfield, Thomas Holmes, Elizabeth May, Kyle Schoenfish and Jamie Smith; and Senators Jim Bolin, Ryan Maher, Jeff Monroe, Reynold Nesiba and Jordan Youngberg.
Rep. Duvall was approved as Chair of the summer study committee with Sen. Bolin chosen to serve as Vice Chair.
“Rep. Duvall is a good chair person,” Rep. Mark Mickelson said of his fellow who Representative, who also served as Chair of the House Transportation committee during the 2018 legislative session. Rep. Mickelson added Sen. Bolin is a “very experienced legislator.” Sen. Bolin served as Chair of the Senate Education committee during this year’s session.
The Executive Board also approved the scope of the study to be: The specific issue to be addressed is the increasing need for special education and related services in the schools in our state and how to adequately fund special education in light of that increased need. One of the main concerns is that the state aid dollars currently being set aside for the extraordinary cost fund for special education are not adequate to meet the demands on that fund.
“This is a very complicated area and it’s very expensive,” Rep. Mickelson said of the ECF topic. “It’s an important area and it’s very poorly understood, as well.”
Those legislators include: Representatives Michael Diedrich, Steven Haugaard, Taffy Howard, Jean Hunhoff, Kevin Jensen, Tim Johns, Herman Otten, Tim Reed and Susan Wismer; and Senators Bob Ewing, Craig Kennedy, Kris Langer, Deb Soholt, Alan Solano and Jim Stalzer. Sen. Soholt will serve as Chair of the study committee and Rep. Otten as Vice Chair.
The scope of the study includes: The study shall include a review of mental health services available in the state and the capacity of the available services: How persons with mental illness are treated and continuum care; The facilities, locations, resources, treatment options, and services available for treatment of persons with mental illness; The financial costs to the state and its political subdivisions.
Meeting dates have not been set at this time for either interim study.