CA School News Report

Monrovia Unified Board Advocates in Washington D.C. for Increased Special Needs Funding

MONROVIA, CA – Monrovia Unified’s Board of Education members advocated throughout Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. from June 21-24, urging California elected officials to secure more funds for special education services.

Board of Education members met with Rep. Judy Chu and staff for Rep. Grace Napolitano, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Department of Education program specialist Matthew G. Schneer in Washington, D.C. to relay the challenges school districts face in subsidizing federally mandated special education services without sufficient funding.

“I am proud of our Board of Education for being a voice for our students and community and bringing to our elected officials attention to some of the issues we face as a District,” Monrovia Unified Board President Bryan Wong said. “This is the first step of many we’ll take to ensure the success of all of our students.”

The Board first met with California officials in Sacramento in February when Clifton Middle School was named to the Great Schools to Watch list, which identifies outstanding schools that promote academic excellence, responsiveness to early adolescence and social equity, and other facets. The Board of Education pursued a national conversation regarding special education funding when Clifton was later honored for the same achievement in Washington, D.C.

They discussed how school districts need increased funding to fulfill the academic and support needs of students in special education programs.

Board Vice President Terrence Williams, who is also a parent of a student with special needs, said the Board’s united approach to the funding issue elicited encouraging responses from officials.

“We believe the entire Board’s presence at these meetings underscored the importance of this concern within our District,” Williams said. “We do not expect overnight results, but are heartened by the reception from our elected officials and believe this will be a vital step toward holding our government to its commitment to serve the needs of all students.”

The Board of Education will continue to advocate for improved funding and meet with representatives in Sacramento later this year.

“Monrovia Unified is dedicated to providing access to a high-quality education for every student,” Monrovia Unified Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Our priority is to foster the growth of every student. This trip was part of our ongoing, collaborative effort to offer programs and resources that ensure every student has the support they need to have a bright and successful future.”

PHOTO:

081017_MUSD_WASHDC: The Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education met with Rep. Judy Chu and other elected officials from June 21-24 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the challenges of subsidizing federally mandated special education services without sufficient funding.

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