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Special Education Programs, Private Placements, Under Assault

Posted Feb 14 2011 9:16pm

Education week has an article, Special Education Programs, Private Placements, Under Assault , describing some of the recent efforts by states to reduce special education costs.

From Michael Bloomberg suggesting pulling students out of private placements. He cites $ 100M spent for 4,000 students . I had to check on what that means—it works out to $25,000 per student.

Would this really save money? Probably not :

Sweet said there’s actually very little difference between the dollars spent on private and public schools for special education students because both can easily cost more than $25,000 annually compared to about $17,000, on average, for a general education student.

EdWeek reports that a Texas lawmaker proposed charging parents tuition for state-run schools for the Deaf or Blind (a proposal that is against federal law). And Utah suggested cutting cutting schools for the deaf and blind altogether. They just forgot about the fact that deaf and blind students would still be in Utah and need an education.

Times are tough, economically. Special education is expensive. Let’s hope that few lawmakers go for the false economy of cutting special ed. It really isn’t going to give a real return.

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