Dear friends and neighbors,

I wanted to update you all on one of the Legislature’s top priorities this session – raising the cap on special education funding and making sure we’re providing the support that teachers need to provide every student with the attention and education that they deserve.

We’ve made huge strides in school funding in the past five years, especially when our educators needed extra support during the COVID pandemic, but it’s no secret that there’s more to do. Right now, there’s a cap on how much special education money goes out from the state to each school district – if more than 13.5 percent of students in a school district need special education services, the costs involved go up, but the state support doesn’t. We should raise the cap, so state funding better reflects the actual cost of supporting these students.

It costs a bunch of money to do this, but it’s the right thing to do. Special education is something we HAVE to fund, so the money from the taxpayer is being spent on it regardless – the question is if it comes from the state or from local school levies. State funding is more sustainable, predictable, and equitable between districts than local levies are.

Making the change also frees up local school levy dollars for other purposes. Right now, since state funding is capped, some districts have used money from their local levies to pay for special education, rather than spend it on the “extra” enrichment programs that levies are supposed to fund. I understand why those districts have done it – they’ve got to cover those special education costs if the state hasn’t – but once the state steps up to pay our obligation, I encourage folks to get involved with their local school boards and lobby for that freed-up local levy money to be spent on the programs that are most needed for your school and your community.

I recorded a short video this week with the chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, Sen. Lisa Wellman, who’s from the 41st District right next to us in the 5th. She agrees how important it is that we fully fund special education this year – you can watch it here:

As always, thanks for reading. You can reach me at and share your feedback, on this or any other issue. Have a great day!



Sen. Mark Mullet