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Representative Angie Craig Visits Shakopee High School and the Academies of Shakopee - Federal Government Funding of Special Services Topic of Discussion

Issued on May 23, 2022 by Shakopee Public Schools

Representative Angie Craig visited Shakopee High School on Monday, May 23. During her visit, Representative Craig toured the Engineering and Manufacturing Academy within the Academies of Shakopee and spent time with students in two areas within this Academy - engineering design and small gas engines. Representative Craig also visited classrooms serving students with special needs. During this part of her visit, Shakopee High School Teacher and GLOmies Advisor, Suzi Fish, shared information about the GLOmies program. GLOmies is a peer-to-peer mentor program designed to foster inclusion and relationships among students in Shakopee elementary and secondary schools. 

Near the conclusion of Representative Craig’s visit, school district leaders, including School Board Chair Kristi Peterson and Superintendent Mike Redmond encouraged Representative Craig to continue working with her colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to get the federal government to live up to their commitment to provide 40% of the funding for programs for students with special needs. Currently, the federal government is funding approximately 14% of this federally mandated programming. 

“Services for students with special needs provide amazing opportunities to help each child reach their greatest learning potential. The services themselves are vitally important,” shared Superintendent Mike Redmond “The ongoing challenge has been trying to get the federal government to live up to their commitment to provide 40% of the funding for this programming. To this point, they’ve fallen short of this commitment, leaving a financial burden for local communities and state governments to try to shore up.”

School Board Chair Kristi Peterson heightened the urgency and importance of federal government funding for special needs student services when she stated, “Currently Shakopee Public Schools shifts $9 million per year from its general operating revenue to cover the shortage in funding for services for students with special needs in what is commonly referred to as the Special Education Cross Subsidy. It’s terrific the federal government allocated $448 million more for special education in a spending bill passed this spring. Hopefully this increase is a down payment on their way to providing 40% of all funding for Special Education.”