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Senators Bettencourt & Paxton file SB 1474 to support Special Education students in a Big Way!

 SB1474 starts a service intensity-based formula, creates an Education Savings Account program for  students with disabilities & creates a grant program for retirees to return to teach special ed 

Austin – Senators Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) filed Senate Bill  1474 to dramatically improve special education in Texas for students with disabilities based on their  individual needs. Both Senator Bettencourt and Paxton served on the Texas Commission on Special  Education Funding Chaired by Stacey Combest in the 87th interim that released a report with  recommendations. 

“SB 1474 dramatically bolsters support for special education students in three major areas and  it’s an important recognition that these students need targeted help to maximize their educational  outcomes. The SPED Commission has had a year of worth of great testimony to draw on these  major recommendations,” said Senator Bettencourt. 

SB 1474 implements the following recommendations from the Texas Commission on Special Education  Funding Report. First, SB 1474 will transition the Special Education allotment under the Foundation  School Program to a Service Intensity Based Formula System. This is made up of seven weighted  funding tiers based on the intensity of services needed by a student. Tier One includes a student in  special education receiving direct support in up to two foundation subject areas. While Tier Seven  students include students who receive intensive full-time special education services requiring residential placement. 

“SB 1474 creates targeted funding that addresses the education of our most vulnerable kids in a  more individualized way than ever before. It also incorporates the input of the people who know  the kids the best: their parents. I am proud to joint author SB 1474, which will create lasting,  transformative, and positive change for our special education students and families.” Said Senator  Angela Paxton. 

Second, SB 1474 will create an Education Savings Account program for students with disabilities. Under  the program a child with a disability must first be eligible to attend public school, then they would receive  $7,250 per year, per child. Funds in the program may be used to pay for school tuition, textbooks, fees,  meals, and uniforms at private schools. Third, SB 1474 will allow the TEA Commissioner to create a  Grant program to recruit retirees to return to teaching special education students in public schools. “I am  very proud of our hard work and dedication that made SB 1474 possible,” said Stacey Combest,  Texas Commission on SPED Funding Chair. 

Senator Bettencourt and Senator Paxton are members of the Senate Education Committee where  Committee Chair, Brandon Creighton and the members will hear this bill in a future hearing. 

“SB 1474 will focus hundreds of millions of dollars of state resources behind the needs of our  Special Education students,” he concluded. Senator Bettencourt will file more education legislation. Read the Commission report: Texas Commission on Special Education Funding See previous media: Tweet regarding The Texas Commission on Virtual Education 

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