SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, was recognized this week by the Special Education Local Plan Area Administrators Association of California for his dedicated efforts to increase special education services and resources for individuals with disabilities through public policy.
SELPA Administrators of California is an extensive association of professional educators organized to present, review and evaluate major special education issues. The association presented Garcia with the award this morning, during their annual Legislative Information Sharing Day.
Last year, Garcia championed several legislative measures supporting our special needs community including ACR 115 which help those with disabilities access technology and AB 1264, the Parent Involvement and Transparency Act that proposed necessary improvements to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to enhance parent and guardian’s ability participate in their children’s education plan.
“It is humbling to have our legislative efforts recognized by the state association of special education administrators,” Garcia said in a prepared statement. “Without a doubt children and individuals with special needs must be guaranteed equal opportunities to thrive.”
“Last year, I was able to work with local and statewide agencies to introduce measures that would prioritize access to technology for Californians with disabilities as well as those that would increase IEP transparency to provide parents access to information to ensure they make the best choice for their child’s education.”
“I want to thank the members of this association for all of their on the ground engagement, education and advocacy efforts. Your work truly makes a difference. I look forward to continuing to work alongside you and others to explore additional legislative avenues to improve the quality of life for those with special needs.”
This legislative session, Garcia has teamed up with Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell to advocate for additional resources to assist students with disabilities and their families. Together, they are pushing AB 3136, a measure that would improve the state funding system that offers support for education to better meet the needs of students with more severe disabilities as well as AB 2704 which calls for the establishment of new family empowerment centers in underserved communities in order to improve education and developmental services.
ABOUT ACR 115 (E. Garcia, 2017):
ACR 115 – Disabled Individuals: Technology and Information Access affirms that the states’ policies and procedures should ensure technology and information access for individuals with disabilities to the greatest extent possible.
ABOUT AB 1264 (E. Garcia, 2017):
AB 1264, Parent Involvement and Transparency Act sought to improve the educational tract for children with special needs by allowing parents/guardians the opportunity to review documents pertaining to their child prior to their scheduled IEP meeting. Unfortunately, while the measure succeeded through the legislative process it was vetoed by Governor Brown.
ABOUT AB 3136 (O’Donnell/E. Garcia, 2018):
AB 3136, Special education funding would make improvements to the state’s funding mechanism that provides critical support to California’s students with special needs by establishing state support for education preschool services, providing funding to equalize long-standing special education funding inequities, and provide support for students requiring higher cost services due to their disability.
ABOUT AB 2704 (O’Donnell/E. Garcia, 2018):
AB 2704, Special education programs: Family Empowerment Centers on Disability seeks to establish new Family Empowerment Centers (FECs) while increasing funding levels for each center, and requiring data collection and reporting to improve coordination between the California Department of Education and FECs. This bill will support the critical work of FECs and improve their ability to act as a resource.