Loughran Cappel

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel is working on a measure that would bring equity to funding for special education students by creating a fair reimbursement rate for special education day schools.

“I spent 15 years in the classroom as a special education teacher,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “We have to ensure our students can receive a quality education in the least restrictive environment. This initiative would achieve equitable funding for all special needs students, no matter their placement.” 

Senate Bill 3606 would equalize the reimbursement rate received by public school districts from the Illinois State Board of Education when sending high-needs special education students to private and public special education day schools.

Under Loughran Cappel’s measure, public schools would be eligible to receive a reimbursement, regardless of where the student is sent, from ISBE for tuition costs for high-needs special education students that exceed the average cost for students not receiving special education services.

“The Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education has championed equity in funding for special education placements for over a decade,” said IAASE Executive Director Melissa Taylor. “Illinois needs a placement neutral special education funding system and Senate Bill 3606 is a significant step toward that goal. We applaud Senator Loughran Cappel’s commitment to this issue and her dedication to the education of students with disabilities.”

Senate Bill 3606 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and heads to the House for further consideration.