Virginia laws protect funding for Private Special Education Day Schools

Governor Northam signed House Bill 2117 and Senate Bill 1313, also referred to as “Children's Services Act; special education programs”, into law last month. These companion bills protect funding for Private Special Education Day Schools, which provide services to children with autism and other disabilities across the Commonwealth. Many of these children are in need of significant supports and/or are non-verbal and exhibit aggressive, self-harm or fleeing behaviors. While they are often placed in Private Special Education Day Schools through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process, the goal for many students is an eventual return to public school. 

Autism Speaks played a leadership role in advancing these bills during the 2021 regular legislative session. We are thankful for our volunteers and advocacy partners who worked alongside us to pass these bills and related budget items. We are also grateful for our legislative champions - Senators Mason and Barker, Delegates VanValkenburg and Reid, Governor Northam, and all those who voted yes on these bills!