Special Education Summer Study To Hold First Meeting Thursday

(WNAX) — The Special Education Interim Committee of the South Dakota legislature will hold its first meeting Thursday. Committee Vice Chairman, Senator Jim Bolin of Canton says the committee is much broader in membership and scope than last year’s group…

“We formulated a task force that is not exclusively legislative. There are five legislators, there are going to be some superintendents, there are going to be some representatives from the Department of Education, there are going to be some people from Disability Rights, and there is going to be a parent or two who have students involved in special education.”
Bolin says providing special education is becoming more difficult for rural schools…

“We’re going to try to look at that special education and the difficulties there are in South Dakota. Especially for a lot of rural schools who have students that have special needs; but, they’re, I use the expression, ‘out in the hinterland’? and it’s difficult to, often times, receive some of the services that they are entitled to.”
Bolin says the number of children requiring services continues to grow due to increasing numbers of autism cases and better medical care…

“Often times now with improved medical facilities, young people who might not have survived in the past, say fifteen-twenty years ago, are now living and they need these special services. I think that’s something actually we should rejoice in; it’s something that we should be happy about. But, it does present some problems and difficulties for the delivery of special education services.”
Bolin says the committee work may extend into November.