Benson has introduced a special education reform bill that works towards identifying administrative efficiencies and cost savings for schools districts, while providing more consistency for special education students with high needs. The bill proposes tying funding to students rather than school districts. “Our current special education funding system is overly complicated and is problematic to both school districts and children,” said Benson. “I proposed a system for tying funding to students rather than school districts during my campaign and this legislation is the first step toward achieving that goal.”
This makes so much sense, it hurts my head. This would solve that constant problem for districts who happen to have a lot of special needs children proportional to their student population – funding for those sources winds up being carried by the local revenues because that funding is set per district. This adversely affects special education – often, a good public school special ed program will entice parents of a special needs child to move to the district, increasing the budgetary burden, but with no additional help from the state. That means the program will likely degrade in response. We shouldn’t punish districts with better programs.
The second one is near and dear to my heart, an environmental no-brainer.
Benson’s environmental protection bill will require customers to pay a surcharge of five cents for each plastic bag used at grocery stores. Customers would pay no surcharge for paper bags, reusable bags, or plastic bags brought from home. The surcharge would go to the Clean Environment Fund to be used for environmental projects. “Plastic bag surcharges have been shown to produce real benefits to the environment, reducing plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Benson.
Boo ya! Ireland did this and it’s virtually a no-plastic-bag zone now.
Two great no brainer practical solutions to two big problems. Thanks, Representative Benson! High marks.