Dear Friends of VIA:
The Virginia Institute of Autism and our colleagues at other special education facilities around the state have been following the progress of several bills and amendments in the General Assembly that could have significant effects on the services we provide. One of those is particularly troubling and could use your immediate feedback.
Please reach out to the Senate Budget committee, particularly Chair Emmett Hanger, and ask them to:
Reject Senate Item 282 #1s — Item to Limit Children’s Services Act Increases
What parents need to know:
The Children’s Services Act (CSA) establishes a single state pool of funds to purchase services for at – risk youth and their families. The state funds, combined with local community funds, are managed by local interagency teams who plan and oversee services to youth.
What lawmakers need to hear:
The CSA funds our school. This change would place an arbitrary limit on CSA funding that has not been adequately studied, and may have serious unintended consequences for children with disabilities and the schools that serve them. We know that it will limit our ability to provide the needed services for our students at the James C. Hormel School.
There is already a study underway to evaluate CSA funding and rates. Any decision about future rates should be based on that study, and on feedback from the families that will be affected.
Who to contact:
You can let the Senate budget conferees know how important this funding has been, and what it has meant to the families we serve by contacting them directly:
Sen. Emmett Hanger
district24 [at] senate [dot] virginia [dot] gov
Sen. Tommy Norment
district03 [at] senate [dot] virginia [dot] gov
Sen. Steve Newman
district23 [at] senate [dot] virginia [dot] gov
Sen. Frank Wagner
district07 [at] senate [dot] virginia [dot] gov
Sen. Janet Howell
district32 [at] senate [dot] virginia [dot] gov
Sen. Dick Saslaw
district35 [at] senate [dot] virginia [dot] gov
Thanks for engaging with this important task.
Ethan Long, Ph.D., BCBA-D