WI Special Education Quality: ACT NOW

The State Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will convene an important meeting with an opportunity for public testimony in Madison on June 4.
Parents statewide are reporting significant erosion of special education supports for students with disabilities. Families and school districts attribute this to lack of funding. Specifically, the Wisconsin legislature has not increased funding for special education services in the last ten years. As costs have risen this means districts struggle to provide necessary supports; children’s education needs often go unmet.
Earlier this year the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations issued a parent survey on the topic of special education quality. The results are shocking.
The Arc Wisconsin encourages parents of children with disabilities to consider testifying at the upcoming hearing on June 4.
  • What: The State Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Hearing
  • When: June 4 1:00-5:00 PM
  • Where: State Capitol, Madison, Room 412 East
Here is what parents or education advocates can say at the June 4 hearing:
  • Special education funding has in Wisconsin has not increased in a decade while special education costs have risen over 60% since 2000.
  • A recent survey of Wisconsin families of students with disabilities shows that parents have significant concerns about loss of staff, poor implementation of services, increases in disciplinary measures.
  • 58% of parents of children with disabilities surveyed said the erosion of special education quality makes them concerned for their child’s future.
  • The state’s contribution to support students with disabilities must be increased to keep pace with local costs.
  • The Arc Wisconsin supports a state funding increase to cover 50% of special education costs (up from an all-time low of just 26%).
  • The State should immediately conduct a meaningful audit of special education quality and outcomes, including the preparation of students with disabilities for college and the workforce. This audit must include input from parents and students with disabilities.
Please contact Lisa Pugh at The Arc Wisconsin with any questions or if you need support to testify.
Email: pugh@thearc.org or by phone: 608.422.4250
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