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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: 542053

Reported Deaths: 7035
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1129221671
Ramsey46808847
Dakota41281414
Anoka37372413
Washington24322273
Stearns20596216
St. Louis16440296
Scott15511116
Wright14374124
Olmsted1258796
Sherburne1026779
Carver950443
Clay765889
Rice7432101
Blue Earth679340
Kandiyohi620379
Crow Wing594086
Chisago537648
Otter Tail533173
Benton520296
Mower446532
Winona435349
Douglas433270
Goodhue431271
Nobles396648
Morrison384559
McLeod382354
Beltrami366257
Isanti362259
Polk359166
Itasca358251
Steele348914
Becker345848
Lyon342648
Carlton323352
Freeborn320129
Pine306021
Nicollet299842
Brown290639
Mille Lacs271248
Le Sueur265422
Todd265430
Cass242426
Meeker228037
Waseca226820
Martin209629
Wabasha19793
Roseau194118
Dodge16824
Renville168043
Hubbard167841
Redwood163735
Houston161814
Cottonwood151820
Fillmore15069
Pennington148519
Chippewa143736
Faribault141719
Wadena140021
Sibley132710
Aitkin127036
Kanabec125821
Watonwan12429
Rock121018
Jackson114110
Yellow Medicine108419
Pipestone107425
Murray10149
Pope9926
Swift97518
Marshall84017
Stevens79610
Lake77819
Wilkin75612
Clearwater75514
Koochiching74912
Lac qui Parle73122
Big Stone5544
Lincoln5532
Grant5388
Norman5129
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48178
Kittson44822
Red Lake3817
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2932
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 355069

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55519598
Linn20164329
Scott18724234
Black Hawk15464306
Woodbury14787219
Johnson1386780
Dubuque13033202
Dallas1082296
Pottawattamie10621160
Story1024747
Warren548486
Clinton531189
Cerro Gordo519386
Webster505991
Sioux502973
Marshall476274
Muscatine454996
Des Moines439465
Wapello4246120
Buena Vista421140
Jasper406370
Plymouth393979
Lee366755
Marion353975
Jones292055
Henry285337
Bremer278260
Carroll277850
Crawford261139
Boone256431
Benton248955
Washington247849
Dickinson238743
Mahaska223349
Jackson217142
Kossuth211461
Clay208325
Tama206371
Delaware201039
Winneshiek192633
Page189020
Buchanan187331
Cedar182623
Fayette182641
Wright178735
Hardin178642
Hamilton177049
Harrison174673
Clayton165455
Butler161834
Mills157320
Cherokee156438
Floyd154542
Lyon153541
Poweshiek152133
Madison152019
Allamakee149051
Iowa144624
Hancock142734
Winnebago135331
Grundy134732
Cass133954
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet127140
Shelby126637
Louisa126149
Appanoose125847
Sac125719
Mitchell125241
Union123732
Chickasaw122015
Humboldt117926
Guthrie116728
Franklin112421
Palo Alto109622
Howard102622
Unassigned10030
Montgomery99737
Clarke98023
Keokuk94430
Monroe93228
Ida88533
Adair84032
Pocahontas83021
Monona80530
Davis79824
Greene76310
Lucas74822
Osceola73816
Worth7008
Taylor65012
Fremont60410
Decatur5889
Van Buren55318
Ringgold53322
Wayne51823
Audubon4939
Adams3264
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