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ACTION REQUIRED: SB47 Voucher Bill

News from GSBA

The State Senate will take a floor vote on SB47 at 1pm today. The bill is the Senate’s expansion of the Special Needs Scholarship. Now is the time to contact your Senator and tell them that you oppose SB 47!

SB 47 expands the current special needs voucher to:

  • Students with a 504 plan OR a formal diagnosis from a licensed physician or psychologist relating to one or more conditions to be identified by the State Board which must include at least the 21 identified in the bill
  • Those who received preschool special education services the previous year
  • Students adopted or placed in permanent guardianship from foster care within the previous year

The fiscal note for SB 47 states that the program could cost up to $89.4 million extra to the state if 25,000 students take the voucher, depending on what grade the student first takes the voucher and how long they are in the program. The fiscal note is not online as of this writing, but can be found HERE.

A few key points to remember about this bill:

  • Despite the student receiving a voucher at an amount for the services they need, there is no guarantee or requirement that the private school they use the voucher to attend provide those services.
  • There is no requirement for students to be reevaluated to determine a continued eligibility for a 504 or IEP.
  • There has been no evaluation of the program to determine effectiveness for students

Contact your senator and let them know you oppose this bill.