Senate passes 2 measures addressing special education

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Senate has unanimously passed two measures addressing special education.

One of the measures that passed the chamber Saturday increases state funding for special education by changing the current cost multiplier applied to calculate the amount of per pupil special education funding each district receives. By increasing the multiplier from 0.9609 to 1, a school district with $1,000 in per pupil funding would be allocated $2,000 for each special education student.

An amendment added on the Senate floor adds the same special education cost multiplier to incarcerated youth who qualify for special education. Senate staff says roughly 500 students would qualify for this additional funding.

The other measure makes several policy changes in regard to special education, including requiring school districts to provide at least one-half day of professional learning on special education topics, and requiring school districts to convene an ongoing special education advisory committee.

Both bills now head to the House for consideration.