I am a special education teacher and every two years I hope for bills that will increase access to FREE AND APPROPRIATE EDUCATION (FAPE) for students with disabilities.
This year HB 233 aims to fund public schools for students with disabilities until they are age 21, which is the national standard, addressed by the original bill 94-142, passed in 1975.
Montana has been behind at least 48 other states in this. Transition to post high school is not easy for students who have difficulty navigating the community, social situations and work. Funding will allow teachers to do their jobs.
Please call your representative to support HB 233.
At the same time, HB 329 would allow students with disabilities to attend PRIVATE schools, and the public schools would have to pay for that education out of public funds.
This is against FAPE (free and appropriate public education) and should not pass. The sponsor of this bill, Rep. Vinton, of Billings, apparently does not understand this.
Please call your representative today to OPPOSE HB 329. https://leg.mt.gov/legislator-information is the easiest way to contact your legislator.