The 27th Alaska State Legislature, 2011 - 2012||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 198
Spec. Education Service Agency Funding/Sunset
“An Act relating to the special education service agency.”
Posted: April 5, 2011 : v27-LS0593-M
Status: (H) FIN : 2011-04-04
House Bill 198 removes a sunset requirement and increases state funding to the Special Education Service Agency (SESA), a not-for-profit organization established in statute in 1986. SESA is governed by the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education and its own independent board of directors.
The Special Education Service Agency assists local school districts to provide needed special education services. Sometimes districts cannot fully serve students that have low-incidence disabilities with their existing personnel and resources. SESA has a pool of educators trained to give support to teachers and administrators who work daily with students who are deaf, deaf-blind, mentally retarded, hearing impaired, blind and visually impaired, orthopedically disabled, health-impaired in other ways, and severely emotionally disturbed ... (AS 14.30.630 (b)(1)).
The Special Education Service Agency receives state support based on a funding formula adopted in 1998. Each year the Department of Education and Early Developments allocates to SESA not les than $15.75 times the number of students statewide. Although local school districts have received an increase in state funding since 1998, SESA has not. Under HB 198, the multiplier increases as the base student allocation increases, Currently the computation (four-thenths of one percent of $5,680) equals $22.72 which approximates the impact of inflation from 1998 to 2011.
The Special Education Service Agency is set to expire on June 30, 2013. During previous performace audits, both the Department of Education and the Legislative Auditor recommended removing SESA from the sunset process. House Bill 198 repeals the sunset requirement and thus allows SESA to plan long-term.
Thank you for your support of this legislation.