Special Education Costs

Special Education Costs

Special Education Costs

Special Education Costs
Special education costs are rising at an alarming rate. Public schools spend an average of two to three times on each student eligible for special education as they do for students without disabilities (Center for Special Education Finance). In some states, that translates into as much as $30,000 a year per student, taking multiple types of disabilities into account.

Identifying students with disabilities and determining the most appropriate types of services that these children should receive is a difficult task. Finding the right program for students with disabilities is expensive and time consuming. The special education costs increase when a school must provide the student with multiple services, such as physical therapy, speech therapy and counseling.

Special Education Costs — The Law
Each state public school system must incur special education costs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – a federal law adopted in 1974 and revised several times – public schools are obligated to provide a free and appropriate education for every child with a disability. The law requires schools to create an individualized education program to meet the needs of each student classified as disabled. Furthermore, the student must be placed in an environment that provides the fewest obstacles to his or her success, regardless of cost.

The special education costs are increasing. Public schools across the country today serve more than six million children with a wide array of disabling conditions (National Education Association). Ever since the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the federal law has included a commitment to pay 40 percent of the average per student cost for every special education student. However, 2004 statistics showed that the federal government paid only 20 percent of their commitment. The burden is on communities and states to pay the rest.

Special Education Costs – Issues Facing All of Us
Over the past 10 years, special education costs have increased because the number of U.S. students enrolled in special education programs has risen 30 percent. Three out of every four students with disabilities spend part or all of their school day in a general education classroom. In turn, nearly every general education classroom across the country includes students with disabilities. Each school and school district must determine the best way to conduct programs and figure out how to pay for them.

The costs of providing special education services have been an increasing concern at all levels of public education. The debate centers largely on two questions. First, what is the true cost of special education? And, secondly, are these special education costs diverting funds from general education programs? (The Center for Special Education Finance)

Special Education Costs — The Future
Special education costs will continue to rise. Although congress is increasing what it gives in federal special education aid, it is not nearly enough. In the fiscal year 2000, the combined federal state and local spending on special education rose to more than $3 billion per year. Federal funding was about half that. (Thomas B. Parrish, ED., John H. Flanagan Research Center, American Institute for Research).

At LearningRx, we can help your child in ways other systems may be failing them. We’ve developed skills and training programs that confront and correct the problems. Once we identify someone’s strengths and weaknesses, we work to enhance, stretch and load those skills to produce a stronger mental base for a lifetime of learning.

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