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Fighting for special education funding

Stewartville school district is advocating to legislators.

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 2:41 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Stewartville School Board unanimously approved two resolutions urging state and federal governments to fully fund special education services, something the government promised they would do.

“We’re asking the state and federal government to meet the obligations they set forth…to step up to the plate,” Belinda Selfors, Superintendent of Stewartville School District said.

The obligations she’s talking about are part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) enacted in 1975. Selfors said the government is not providing the amount of funding for special education it said it would in IDEA, and the burden falls on the district.

For the 2015-2016 school year Stewartville’s special education expenses totaled over $3 million, and the district paid about $1.2 million of these expenses.

“So we receive funding for about $2 million of our costs, however that $1.2 million comes out of our general fund which then impacts other programs,” Selfors said. “If we want to make sure we provide programs for all students, we have to ask more from our taxpayers.”

And Stewartville is not alone. Other area school districts like Kasson-Mantorville internally spend over one million dollars to pay for their total special education expenses of $2.1 million.

“It’s a statewide issue, we are one of many school districts,” Selfors said. “We’re educators, we want to help kids be successful no matter what their backgrounds are and what their needs are. “

Selfors said special education services help students be successful and can include everything from communication devices, extra staffing, and special transportation.

She said they’re fighting for kids that cannot fight for themselves.

“Things happen outside of the school setting that are established by legislators or elected officials that affect the work me we do yet the ones without the voice end up getting or not getting the services they need,” she said.

The resolutions were sent to state and federal legislators. They also urged representatives to support bill HF2846, which in part creates a workforce to address Special education funding issues.

Selfors said she’s received feedback from legislators and will continue to advocate.

“It’s really just communicating what the needs are and hoping legislators find a way to meet those needs,” she said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 612701

Reported Deaths: 7761
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1270801803
Ramsey53350911
Dakota47466477
Anoka43482465
Washington27810296
Stearns22764227
St. Louis18353320
Scott17763139
Wright16615153
Olmsted13587104
Sherburne1218596
Carver1080349
Clay830792
Rice8300112
Blue Earth772844
Crow Wing691799
Kandiyohi673185
Chisago629955
Otter Tail592687
Benton588298
Goodhue487674
Douglas480881
Mower478834
Winona466452
Itasca463968
Isanti447567
McLeod436661
Morrison429562
Beltrami411863
Nobles411750
Steele401819
Polk391372
Becker390057
Lyon366454
Carlton357158
Freeborn353634
Pine338123
Nicollet335145
Mille Lacs316856
Brown309340
Le Sueur301228
Todd289633
Cass289133
Meeker267644
Waseca241823
Martin237633
Roseau212921
Wabasha20883
Hubbard198941
Dodge19173
Renville184246
Redwood178941
Houston176516
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165323
Fillmore160510
Faribault157820
Chippewa154438
Pennington154120
Kanabec148128
Sibley147710
Aitkin140237
Watonwan13629
Rock129919
Jackson123212
Pipestone117326
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Pope11416
Murray107710
Swift107718
Koochiching96919
Stevens92711
Clearwater89517
Marshall89017
Lake85121
Wilkin84613
Lac qui Parle76222
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Grant5958
Lincoln5873
Mahnomen5669
Norman5519
Kittson49222
Unassigned49093
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3504
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 376815

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk59215646
Linn21567342
Scott20530250
Black Hawk16850320
Woodbury15378230
Johnson1479586
Dubuque13627215
Dallas1150699
Pottawattamie11393177
Story1092548
Warren594392
Clinton565894
Cerro Gordo564898
Webster546397
Sioux520574
Muscatine4956106
Marshall493679
Des Moines481776
Jasper454273
Wapello4402124
Buena Vista432340
Plymouth405782
Lee396958
Marion372378
Henry301737
Jones301357
Bremer294663
Carroll287252
Boone273735
Crawford273541
Benton264255
Washington261051
Dickinson251145
Mahaska235151
Jackson225943
Kossuth222166
Clay217927
Tama213872
Delaware213343
Winneshiek201337
Buchanan197834
Page195722
Cedar194323
Hardin192544
Wright191240
Hamilton189251
Fayette188943
Harrison182873
Clayton173258
Butler169135
Madison168019
Floyd165242
Mills164724
Cherokee162238
Lyon161241
Poweshiek159836
Allamakee156452
Hancock154034
Iowa149124
Winnebago147031
Calhoun144813
Cass142155
Grundy139733
Emmet137341
Jefferson135535
Sac133320
Shelby132238
Louisa130749
Union129535
Franklin129223
Appanoose128749
Mitchell127343
Chickasaw126017
Humboldt126026
Guthrie125332
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Montgomery106938
Howard105522
Clarke102624
Monroe101533
Keokuk100432
Ida93735
Adair90132
Davis88525
Pocahontas87022
Monona86731
Greene80011
Osceola79517
Lucas78323
Worth7648
Taylor67112
Decatur6649
Fremont64910
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Ringgold57124
Wayne56623
Audubon53613
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