WHAT:           The Special Education Funding Commission will hold its fourth public hearing tomorrow (Tuesday) to continue to receive testimony and discussion on the current formula for distributing special education payments to school districts in Pennsylvania.

                        The Special Education Funding Commission, which was established in Act 3 of 2013 to review and make recommendations regarding special education funding, has been reconstituted to review the current funding formula. A provision in Act 3 required the commission to meet every five years and reevaluate the state of special education funding in Pennsylvania. Act 16 of 2019, which became law in June, directed the commission to focus its review on the formula which distributes funding for special education services to school districts.

WHO:             Special Education Funding Commission, co-chaired by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), House Education Committee Chairman Curtis Sonney (R-Erie) and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera. The hearing will be held in the district of commission co-chair Senator Browne.

WHEN:           Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 10 a.m.

WHERE:        Southern Lehigh High School

                        5800 Main Street

                        Center Valley, PA 18034

Tentatively scheduled to testify include:

  • Elaine Eib, Executive Director, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21
  • Christopher Wolfel, Executive Director, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20
  • Mark Scott, Asst. Director of Special Programs and Services, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21
  • James McDonald, Director of Behavioral Health Services, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20
  • Ron Prator, Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 
  • Rick Amato, Principal, Broughal Middle School, Bethlehem School District
  • Kathleen Evison, Superintendent, Southern Lehigh School District        
  • Emily Gehman, President, Southern Lehigh School Board
  • Richard Sniscak, Superintendent, Parkland School District         
  • Thomas Parker, Superintendent, Allentown School District        
  • Reynelle Brown Staley, Policy Director, Education Law Center
  • David Lapp, Research for Action
  • Katie Yost, Director of Government and Chapter Relations, The Arc of Pennsylvania

We invite the media to attend and cover this event.



Vicki Wilken (Senator Browne) vwilken@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349
Matt Moyer (Senator Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349
Brooke Haskell (Rep. Sonney) bhaskell@pahousegop.com – 717-260-6351
Eric Levis (Secretary Rivera) elevis@pa.gov – 717-783-9803