Part of PACER Center’s commitment to children with disabilities includes ensuring that the state and federal laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities remain strong. PACER works in coalition with other disability organizations to support special education laws and other related legislation.
2019 State Legislative Priorities
Secure Adequate Funding for Special Education
Minnesota’s funding commitment to educate students with disabilities has historically been strong. However, schools continue to rely on part of their local operating budgets to cover all special education costs. PACER seeks increased state funding for special education to ensure all Minnesota children receive the quality of education they need.
Increase Mental Health Supports Provided In Schools
PACER seeks ways to increase mental health services and supports to students in preschool to grade 12. This could include funding for school-linked mental health programs, more student support staff, and professional development related to trauma-informed care. PACER strongly believes that improved mental health services will benefit the entire school community.
Support Training Time for Paraprofessionals
PACER supports providing professional development and training time for paraprofessionals across the State. Paraprofessionals play an important role in supporting students with disabilities and mental health challenges. This training time will allow paraprofessionals to better understand the unique needs of the students they work with and learn strategies to improve student success.
Reduce the Use of Exclusionary Disciplinary Practices for All Students
PACER strongly supports legislation that promotes increased use of positive behavior interventions and supports. Exclusionary practices such as suspension, expulsion, and seclusion limit students’ ability to learn by removing them from the classroom. PACER also supports requiring schools to notify parents immediately if police become involved or a student is taken to a police station.
Reduce Parental Fees for Medical Assistance TEFRA and Waiver Programs
Families of children with disabilities who are eligible for services under the Medical Assistance TEFRA and waiver programs are experiencing rising parental fees. These high fees can cause financial stress, resulting in many families not accessing important home- and community-based services that would be extremely beneficial to children’s health and development. PACER supports efforts to reduce these fees.
Resources for Parents
Video: Working for Change Using the Power of Personal Story
When parents try to improve services for all children with disabilities, not just their own child,—this is called advocating for systems change. This webinar will explain how parents of children with disabilities can help change systems by telling their own personal stories. By sharing a personal story with the right people, parents can help improve services and supports for children with disabilities and their families.
This page paid for with private funds