Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJR0015
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Full Text of SJR0015  95th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, In the 2005-2006 school year, over 322,000
3 children with disabilities were served in special education
4 programs across Illinois; and
5     WHEREAS, The number of children in special education
6 programs has risen 5.4% in the last 5 years, and special
7 education accounts for approximately 23% of all State education
8 spending; and
9     WHEREAS, The federal government has established a goal of
10 reimbursing 40% of the costs of special education incurred by
11 school districts, but it currently provides only 18% of costs
12 nationally and only 14% in Illinois; and
13     WHEREAS, Illinois has failed for decades to update
14 reimbursement rates for special education costs, with the last
15 reimbursement rate set in 1973 for special education orphanage
16 tuition, in 1985 for special education personnel, in 1978 for
17 special education private tuition, in 1976 for special
18 education summer school, and in 1965 for special education
19 transportation; and
20     WHEREAS, Illinois has continued to prorate special
21 education mandated categoricals at less than 100%, with the



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1 FY07 budget prorating these mandated categoricals at 97%; and
2     WHEREAS, Even if Illinois fully funded mandated
3 categoricals at 100%, this would still only represent partial
4 funding, as the reimbursement rates are severely outdated; and
5     WHEREAS, Illinois school districts currently spend an
6 estimated $1 billion from their own general education funds to
7 meet the unreimbursed costs of special education services that
8 are mandated by federal and State laws and administrative
9 rules; and
10     WHEREAS, Special education continues to represent a
11 growing financial burden on school districts as the need for
12 services increases while State and federal funding fails to
13 increase along with that need; therefore, be it
16 CONCURRING HEREIN, that a task force shall be created to study
17 current special education funding needs and to make
18 recommendations as to how the State can increase special
19 education funding and ease the financial burden on school
20 districts; and be it further
21     RESOLVED, That the task force shall consist of the State



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1 Superintendent of Education (or his or her designee) plus 16
2 members appointed as follows: the House Majority Leader and the
3 House Minority Leader shall each appoint one representative,
4 the Senate President and the Senate Minority Leader shall each
5 appoint one senator, and these 4 leaders shall each appoint 3
6 public members representing the interests of special education
7 administrators and services, school districts, and disability
8 advocates; and be it further
9     RESOLVED, That the task force shall be facilitated by the
10 State Board of Education; and be it further
11     RESOLVED, That the task force shall report its findings and
12 recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by
13 January 1, 2008; and be it further
14     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
15 transmitted to the State Superintendent of Education.