DID YOU KNOW?
One of the services provided by ADRCs is to support young adults with disabilities while they are still in school and as they make the transition to adulthood by helping them connect to programs and services in the community. Students are supported in k-12 schools to plan for their future-will they work? Pursue more education? Live independently? Having plans that support students’ dreams is key to future success in the community. The Governor’s budget proposal adds additional resources to support schools, employment, transportation, caregivers, and financial programs to its list of priorities.
- Increases the rate at which eligible special education costs are reimbursed to 45% in FY22 and 50% in FY23 and changing the way the money is allocated to ensure school districts receive the percent reimbursement promised by the state. (sum sufficient) $709 million
- Increases the High-Cost Special Education aid reimbursement rate for eligible program costs to 40% in FY22 and to 60% in FY23. $9.5 million.
- Special Education Transition Readiness grant increase to help students with disabilities transition into the workforce and postsecondary education. Governor requests $1.5 million.
- An increase of $46.5 million for student mental health and wellness funding across all categories of pupil services (social workers, counselors, psychologists, and nurses), for all school districts that have pupil services expenditures.
- An increase of $7 million to increase the number and size of school based mental health services grants.
- Transfer existing funding ($250,000) to expand Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is a program that prepares young people with significant disabilities for success in competitive integrated employment by offering job and life skills training in a supported environment.
- Increase Division of Vocational Rehabilitation state match funding. Add one state staff position to continue to support vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with significant disabilities.
Implement and administer a qualified Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program either directly or by entering into an agreement with another state or alliance of states. The ABLE program provides tax-exempt savings accounts to pay qualified expenses for an individual with disabilities, including education, housing, and transportation costs ($400,000 to Department of Financial Services).
Increases funding for the employment access and mobility programs – $4 mil. in each year of the biennium.
Expand caregiver support services to ensure that all ADRCs include and address the needs of caregivers of adults age 19-59 with disabilities.
The next step in this process is for the legislature to create and vote on their own budget proposal, but prior to doing that, they want and need to hear from you, their constituents. Consider reaching out to your elected officials to share your experiences and thoughts about the need for additional funding for programs and services that support young people with disabilities as they transition into adulthood. To find out who your legislators are, visit https://legis.wisconsin.gov/ and enter your home address in the “who are my legislators?” box. Thank you for your consideration!
For more information, check out these additional advocacy resources:
The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
Disability Rights Wisconsin:
Family Voices of Wisconsin