UPDATE - 2019 Session Summary

General Assembly Adjourned Saturday February 23rd


Funding Priority 1: 
No new slots were allocated this session.  But the 1,067 from last year's big win will be released this fiscal year.  


Nursing Rates:
There were several budget amendments presented by multiple patrons working with various advocacy groups, however, no increases to DD waiver rates were included in the final budget.  


Inclusive Education:  
While the Pilot program was not funded, there was a great deal of interest in the idea of a pilot to move Inclusive Education forward in areas across the state.  There is currently a study of Virginia's special education program by the General Assembly, that may help to bring more opportunities for students to be included.  Additionally, the requirement for Private Day Schools to begin reporting on outcomes will begin this year.  


Family Life Education:  
This effort did not pass, but the Department of Education has put together a group to update the Guidelines for Family Life Education for students with IDD.  




2019 Advocacy Priorities


Funding Priority One 

The waiting list for services through the DD Waiver has grown to over 12,000 people, with 3,000 of those people waiting in Priority One.  In 2018 the General Assembly made a big step in funding for priority one, by funding 1,695 waiver slots.  But there is work to be done.  In order to bring stability to the system, we must fund all of priority one so that services and funding can be given to people before they are in crisis, where services costs rise tremendously.  Introducing services earlier in someone's life before crisis, creates a more efficient system that is proactive rather than reactive.  It is the right thing for people, and it is the right thing for Virginia's Budget.  

This year we have asked the Governor and will ask the General Assembly to fully fund priority one.  

Inclusive Education

Students with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities have the right to be educated in general education classrooms in their neighborhood schools with appropriate services, supplementary aids, and supports. Alternative placements should be rare and considered only when education in the general education classroom cannot be satisfactorily achieved.  

The system in Virginia that provides additional funding for students with disabilities, systematically provides an incentive for segregation by only funding the most restrictive end of the placement continuum.  Students and parents who want to be educated in their public school, cannot access funds to provide additional supports to do so.  

The Arc of Virginia proposes that funds from the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) be made available to public schools to return students from private day school placements.