Can the Legislature change Washington’s track record on special education?

Mar 11, 2019 by

Students with disabilities in Washington state have some of the lowest outcomes in the country. This year, lawmakers say they want to turn things around.

In Olympia, lawmakers are tackling an issue they’ve largely ignored: Education for students with disabilities.

Over the weekend, the state Senate unanimously passed two bills that would improve funding, accountability and programs for special-education services that federal law guarantees to 15 percent of Washington’s 1.1 million public-school students. They now await consideration from the House, which is expected to unveil its 2019-21 budget proposal later this month.

Washington ranks near the bottom on federal special-education reports because of its poor student outcomes and segregated classrooms.

Unlike the state legislature’s 2017 overhaul of Washington’s school-funding model, this time, it’s not a court-ordered deadline that’s pushing lawmakers to act. The urgency, they say, stems from the grim realities advocates have cited for years.

Source: Can the Legislature change Washington’s track record on special education? | The Seattle Times

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