Capitol Roundup from Rep. Mike Peifer

Peifer Named to Special Education Funding Commission

Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Monroe/Pike/Wayne) has been appointed to serve on the Commonwealth’s Special Education Funding Commission. Created by Act 3 of 2013, the commission is tasked with developing a new formula for distributing state funding to school districts for their special education programs. Currently, funding is distributed based on an estimate that the average daily enrollment of each district includes 16 percent of students with special needs. This formula does not take into account a growing number of schools with greater special education funding needs. The 15-member commission includes members of the House and Senate, as well as members of the State Department of Education and the Office of Budget. Over the next several months, the commission will conduct hearings across the state to gather information and develop a new funding formula using the following parameters outlined in the law:                           

  • The formula must include the establishment of three cost categories for students receiving special education services, ranging from least intensive to most intensive.
  • The commission must obtain a student count for each school district, averaged for the three most recent school years, for each cost category established.
  • The commission will assign a weight to each category of disability.

A final report is due this fall. The new special education funding formula developed by the commission would not go into effect until approved by the General Assembly.

House OKs Study of Potential Merger of Game, Fish-Boat Commissions

The state House has adopted a resolution calling for a study of the potential impacts of merging the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. House Resolution 129 calls on the nonpartisan Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to study the financial feasibility, impact, costs and savings that may be realized by combining the agencies. It also calls on the LBFC to explore a range of options with regard to how to structure the state’s wildlife agency to best manage the wildlife and aquatic resources of the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation where fishing, boating and wildlife activities are managed by two separate, independent agencies. The study is expected to take about six months.

Share |