Wilk Pushes Congress to Prioritize Funding for Students with Disabilities

Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) announces that his bill, Senate Joint Resolution 4 (SJR 4), has passed the Senate with unanimous support. SJR 4 urges the federal government to meet its funding obligations to our state’s students with disabilities by fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“This year has been unlike any other for students around the country, and the impacts of the pandemic are disproportionately felt by students with disabilities. In California alone, IDEA funding serves approximately 800,000 students, but the funding available simply cannot be stretched far enough to meet their needs,” said Wilk. “This is something that everyone—Democrats, Republicans, and independents — can and should support, and I am hopeful that this will be the year that the federal government finally keeps its promise to our pupils with disabilities.”

IDEA was a promise made by Congress in 1975 which would ensure students with disabilities always receive the academic support needed to succeed by covering 40 percent of special education costs, but since 1988, the actual average yearly funding for these services has been closer to 14 percent. By reducing the amount of federal funding available to school districts for these services, Congress has forced districts to cut programs and services and has made it nearly impossible for schools to adequately serve each of their pupils.

SJR 4 will next be heard in Assembly policy committees.