Sen. Dave Miramant, D-Camden, has introduced a bill to provide state funding for students with special education needs. The bill, LD 791, An Act To Provide School Districts with Full State Funding for Students with High-cost Special Education Needs,” received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs Tuesday March 5.

Currently, parents can conclude that the school in their town is not meeting the needs of their child and can choose a different school in another district. This has opened the door for parents to choose high-cost schools outside the local district, creating a burden for some local school districts. With the cost of special needs education — above Essential Programs and Services —sometimes reaching $75,000 per student, this policy can have a strong impact on a town’s property tax rate.

Miramant’s bill would require the state to fund the costs that are above EPS.

LD 791 faces further action in the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, as well as votes in the Maine House and Senate.