Rochester Public Schools receives State and Federal dollars which partially fund Special Education. The remaining funds come from the General Fund of the School District, which is the bulk of the budget.
If the State and Federal governments were to fully fund Special Education, Rochester Public Schools would receive about $18M additional funding annually. If we received full funding as promised from these entities, there would be no need to levy residents for additional funding.
A student must be evaluated in order to receive Special Education services. If the student is eligible, the parent or guardian must agree to the services. If the parent chooses not to receive services then the student remains in general education.
Special Education costs have increased locally, statewide and nationally. There is more awareness of autism, 504 plans are broader, mental illness is more prevalent, as well as students who are physically fragile.
The Minnesota School Boards Delegate Assembly (of which I am an elected member) represents school boards statewide and convenes annually to bring forth resolutions to the State Legislature on behalf of Minnesota students. Special Education funding is one of the top issues throughout the state. We will be meeting in November and December in advance of the 2019 legislative session which begins in February, 2019.