Pa. Sen. Judy Schwank is being given a voice in deciding how money is spent on special education in Pennsylvania.

Schwank, a Berks County Democrat, has been appointed to the newly created, 15-member Special Education Funding Commission.

The commission has until Sept. 30 to recommend a new funding formula that would be designed to more effectively pay for special education throughout the state.

"Pennsylvania’s current special education spending directives are out-of-date and often fail to adequately address the needs of children," Schwank said. "Some special education facilities need more financial assistance than they are currently receiving and some need less."

Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law House Bill 2 on April 25, which created the Special Education Funding Commission.

In addition to the chairs and vice-chairs of the House and Senate education committees, the panel includes eight legislators, the secretaries of education and budget, and the state deputy secretary for elementary and special education.

The commission will hold public hearings this summer to help it develop a new funding formula, Schwank said. House Bill 2 is guiding the group to consider funding for students with least-intensive to most-intensive disabilities. Other factors will also be considered.

"From Reading to Erie to Philadelphia, the commonwealth needs a better way to make sure our critical special education dollars are getting to the right teachers in the right districts," Schwank said.