With a projected ongoing budget surplus of $1.2 billion dollars in 2022, Arizona’s elected leaders have the opportunity to close the $250 million funding gap for the Arizona Early Intervention Program and K-12 Special Education services.
In April, lawmakers voted to protect fetuses with genetic abnormalities that would likely result in a disability. We are now calling on those legislators to fully fund services for early intervention and K-12 special education to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to grow into healthy, independent adults.
In 2020, services for children with disabilities faced a $250 million funding gap for early intervention and special education services birth through 22 years.
An internal audit showed that DES/DDD is underfunded by $150 million dollars per year, and Arizona Early Intervention program rate pay is 80% below benchmark rates. K-12 special education services are under-funded by more than $100 million per year.
As parents and community members, we want Governor Ducey and legislators to:
- Commit to full funding for the Arizona Early Intervention Program on an ongoing basis.
- Provide $100 million in the 2021-22 school year to fully fund the special education gap by funding the weights identified in SB 1189 and allocating the remaining funds for services provided by district and charter schools in Arizona every other year.
- Mandate special education cost study every two years.
- Commit to full funding for special education services based on the findings of the special education cost study.