Legislature Adds Funding and Extends Special Education Service Agency
SESA extended for 8 years with $375,000 additional funding per year
JUNEAU-During its final day in Session, the Legislature acted to extend the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) until 2021 and slightly increase the agency’s funding by $375,000 each year for the next eight years.
“SESA has not had a funding increase in 14 years. They were basically hemorrhaging from inflation,” said Senator Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “This legislation not only keeps their program alive, but it saves them from having to cut staff and services.”
SESA was established in statute in 1986 to provide services to school districts around the state in fulfilling the requirements for the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The agency is based in Anchorage but serves children, families, and school districts throughout Alaska.
The 2012 Legislative Audit found that SESA performs a valuable and unduplicated service to school districts and recommended the renewal of the program. SESA performs an effective and efficient service to school districts educating students with low incidence disabilities. SESA employs 11 education specialists who provided services to 45 school districts and more than 200 students during the last school year. During this time, SESA also provided 320 onsite consultations with school districts.
“This program is critical for helping school districts provide the highest quality services to students affected by low incidence disabilities,” said Senator Stevens. “I want to thank my colleagues for their support of this important legislation.”
House Bill 87 passed the House and Senate unanimously and now heads to the Governor for his signature.
For more information, please contact Tim Lamkin in Senator Stevens’ office at 907-465-4925.