Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 199

February Session, 2018

 

LCO No. 1229

 

*01229_______INS*

Referred to Committee on INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE

 

Introduced by:

 

(INS)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) For the purposes of this section and sections 2 and 3 of this act:

(1) "A child requiring special education" has the same meaning as provided in section 10-76a of the general statutes;

(2) "Committee" means the Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative Implementation Committee established pursuant to section 2 of this act;

(3) "Plan" means the plan prepared by the committee pursuant to section 2 of this act;

(4) "Special education" has the same meaning as provided in section 10-76a of the general statutes; and

(5) "Special education predictable cost cooperative" or "cooperative" means a special education funding mechanism that: (A) Aggregates special education costs at the state level to compensate for volatility at the local level by (i) providing predictability to local and regional boards of education for special education costs, (ii) maintaining current state funding for special education, (iii) differentiating funding based on student learning needs, (iv) equitably distributing special education funding, (v) providing boards of education with flexibility and encouraging innovation, and (vi) limiting local financial responsibility for students with extraordinary needs; (B) is funded by: (i) A community contribution from each school district, calculated based on the number of special education students enrolled in the school district and the school district's previous special education costs, with each town paying the community contribution of its resident students, reduced by an equity adjustment based on the town's ability to pay, and (ii) the state contribution, which is a reallocation of the special education portion of the equalization aid grant and the excess cost grant; (C) provides all school districts with some state support for special education services; (D) ensures that a school district's community contribution will be lower than the actual per-pupil special education cost of the school district; and (E) reimburses school districts for one hundred per cent of their actual special education costs for a fiscal year.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The Commissioner of Education shall establish a Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative Implementation Committee. The committee shall develop a plan to implement the Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative.

(b) The committee shall consist of the following members:

(1) The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee;

(2) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee;

(3) Two persons appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be a special education director and one of whom shall be the parent or guardian of a child requiring special education;

(4) Two representatives of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents appointed by the executive director of the association, one of whom shall be the superintendent of a local or regional school district in this state with an enrollment of not more than five thousand students and one of whom shall be the superintendent of a local or regional school district in this state with an enrollment of greater than five thousand students;

(5) One representative of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, appointed by the executive director of the conference;

(6) One representative of the Connecticut Alliance of Regional Education Service Centers, appointed by the commissioner, who shall be an executive director of a regional educational service center established pursuant to section 10-66a of the general statutes;

(7) The director of the UConn Actuarial Science Program at The University of Connecticut, or the director's designee; and

(8) One representative of the Connecticut School Finance Project, appointed by the director of the project.

(c) All appointments to the committee shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(d) The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, shall schedule the first meeting of the committee, which shall be held not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. The chairperson of the committee shall be elected from among the members at the first meeting of the committee.

(e) Not later than one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this section, the committee shall submit its plan and any recommendations concerning legislation necessary to implement the plan to the Commissioner of Education, Insurance Commissioner and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations, education and insurance in the manner specified in section 11-4a of the general statutes. The plan shall include, but need not be limited to: (1) The committee's recommendations concerning administration, governance, management and operations of the cooperative; (2) an actuarial analysis of the cooperative; (3) a plan to fund the initial capital investment in the cooperative; (4) a timeline to implement the cooperative; (5) key dependencies and prerequisites for implementing the cooperative; and (6) a framework to satisfy all requirements of applicable law. The committee shall terminate on the date that it submits such plan or January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

(f) The contents of the plan shall not be considered regulations under section 4-166 of the general statutes.

(g) The plan shall become effective when approved by a majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly. In the event that the General Assembly disapproves the plan, such plan shall be deemed to be rejected.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, other than subsection (g) of section 2 of this act, the Commissioner of Education shall implement, by regulation and within available appropriations, the cooperative based upon the plan for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, and each fiscal year thereafter.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

from passage

New section

Sec. 3

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To alter the manner in which special education is funded in this state.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]