Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

Want to balance every school budget in the country? Eliminate special education.


Recommended Posts

For some reason, it's easy to talk about vouchers, bad teachers, bad parents, corrupt unions, illegal immigrants, etc. But it's never easy to discuss the one obvious thing that is playing havoc with public school budgets - special education costs.

Here are some articles to read and numbers to ponder.

Eighteen percent of New Jersey’s schoolchildren were in special education programs during the year that just ended, up from 16 percent in 2002 and 13 percent in 1985. They include students with speech difficulties, behavioral problems and physical or mental impairments from mild to severe.

To deal with the range of issues, districts generally provide behaviorists, psychologists and so-called shadows, aides who remain with students for some or all of the day.

Educating those students is inherently more expensive. On average, districts spend about twice the amount to educate a special-needs child as they do for a student in the general population, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association.

A study conducted by the school boards association in 2007 found local districts picked up 57 percent, or $1.9 billion, of the cost of educating 230,000 special-needs children in 2005, the most recent data available at the time of the study. In 2000, by contrast, school districts picked up 53 percent of the cost.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/07/nj_school_districts_avoid_cuts.html

Special education costs have soared in local school districts during the past five years, driven by higher program costs, continued demand for those programs by parents, and cutbacks in state and federal aid.

The costs have grown at double the rate of regular school budgets in about half of the area’s school districts, even as schools have been forced to cut other services and lay off staff. Special education takes up about 20 percent of overall budgets statewide.

Many students have more severe disabilities than those in past years, requiring more expensive programs, officials said. That partly reflects better medical care that has saved the lives of infants, some of them born prematurely or with severe disabilities or both, who might have died a generation ago. The survivors often struggle with difficult physical and emotional problems.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2010/01/07/special_education_costs_soaring_in_area_school_districts/

Hurda told the GOP legislators that her district offered a broad range of special education services, including learning, emotional, autistic, life skills and speech and language support. She added that Spring-Ford had 1,619 special education students, 113 special education teachers and 130 assistants.

Citing statistics to show the growth in Spring-Ford's special education programs, Hurda said the district last year had 27 students whose programs cost over $75,000, compared to just one in 2000-01. She also testified that Spring-Ford was anticipating spending more than $21.3 million on special education in 2010-11.

http://www.pottsmerc.com/articles/2010/05/04/news/srv0000008161388.txt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't want to make one giant post, but this is something to ponder. Schools are allocating between 1/5 and 1/4 of tight budgets towards special ed students. And they are the only option for most parents since the choices are outrageously expensive private learning centers or the public school system. Private schools and parochial schools generally don't offer programs for these students.

And by the way...I do not advovate eliminating special ed programs. I just wish that this was considered in the equation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's something to refute everything that you've posted and everything that you possibly could:

Every child deserves an education. That is the law, and that is the way that it should be.

The fact that you'd even try to bring this up demonstrates a dearth of knowledge about a **** ton of aspects of life and makes you come off as extremely egocentric.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i dont think abolishing special ed is the solution. do i have a solution? not really but i wonder how skewed the data is because schools now shuffle kids around because of the grading system used on the schools. meaning..... if johnny is a bad student behaviorally or performs poorly for no other reason than being lazy .... many times these kids get shuffled into special education classes because special ed isnt considered when looking at a schools performance for future funding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And by the way...I do not advovate eliminating special ed programs. I just wish that this was considered in the equation.

You don't want to eliminate special ed programs but your thread title itself states that by eliminating special ed programs schools could run in the black...maybe I'm just missing something here but if you aren't looking to eliminate special education then what is your proposal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who's mother-in-law worked with special needs students in Fairfax County and a friend who is dyslexic has a sister with Down's Syndrome, I say :security:.

Solutions should be looking at funding and whether such "special needs" students are correctly classified. But cutting special ed? Completely stupid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having a sister with severe Autism, the special needs program is the only thing we have for her. We are unable to afford any sort of private schooling, tutors, or adequate babysitters.

She's 15 and must wear depends, she can barely communicate (her sentences consist of 'I want <insert food or location>', certain TV shows and parroted phrases), and she has immense trouble trying to figure out societal norms. The local public school for children with special needs has done wonders helping her with aggression, communication, and even basics such as learning how to use a microwave.

The school also does wonders as it is a place for her to be around other children and adults outside of her family. While she doesn't 'interact' with the students around her, and they, who are in a similar boat, don't 'interact' with those around them, all the students in the school enjoy being in the similar vicinity of others.

If anything, special needs programs should have an increased role in the budget, and programs such as Elementary Language Immersion (for example) should be cut.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always amazing how easy it is to gore someone else's ox when it comes to public sector budgets.

Yeah, its a soft spot for me. I get tired of hearing about budget cuts at her school when there are other areas that can get cuts (does one of the local high schools really need like 120 new computers?). I'm extremely biased on the situation, however, and will be the first to admit it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's something to refute everything that you've posted and everything that you possibly could:

Every child deserves an education. That is the law, and that is the way that it should be.

The fact that you'd even try to bring this up demonstrates a dearth of knowledge about a **** ton of aspects of life and makes you come off as extremely egocentric.

Dude, you are quickly becoming the liberal MSF! :ols:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every child deserves an education.

I agree. Which is why I do not want to cut special ed. But we act like special ed does not exist when we discuss our failing schools.

No one really seems to grasp how much of a school system's resources are involved here. I attended a meeting for an IEP last year. It took two hours. There was a counselor, a psychologist, the principal attended for a bit, and four teachers involved along with the parent, the child, and me in some weird advocate role.

What was the cost of that one meeting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From those according to their abilities to those according to their needs. A mantra of many here in ES tailgate.

So do away with all public education, police, fire department, mail services, etc etc etc. Good grief, sometimes we as a people do work better when we serve one another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So do away with all public education, police, fire department, mail services, etc etc etc. Good grief, sometimes we as a people do work better when we serve one another.

I agree 100%. Sometimes, with certain segments of society, it does work but it just cannot be a driver of a entire society. It's not sustainable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree. Which is why I do not want to cut special ed. But we act like special ed does not exist when we discuss our failing schools.

No one really seems to grasp how much of a school system's resources are involved here. I attended a meeting for an IEP last year. It took two hours. There was a counselor' date=' a psychologist, the principal attended for a bit, and four teachers involved along with the parent, the child, and me in some weird advocate role.

What was the cost of that one meeting?[/quote']

Well, your post was to cut special education, so I don't know how else to have taken it (I started my reply before you made your second post).

The cost of that meeting was whatever the salaries were of those involved. I attend IEPs all the time, and I don't get paid per.

It's part of the job and doesn't cost you a penny more.

I'm glad that you were an advocate though. I hope that you'll see that a child's education is invaluable.

Remember: These aren't delinquents; these are kids who have no choice. There's a difference between helping those who are unable and willing as opposed to those who are able and unwilling. That goes back to the 17th century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems a lot of people have missed LKB's point completely.

He is not advocating the elimination of Special Education. He is showing why you can't just compare the budget costs and cost per kid ratios in public schools vs private schools.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how many special education students will be accepted via vouchers into private schools?

Quite a few if ya bump the voucher to a level commensurate with public funding costs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems a lot of people have missed LKB's point completely.

He is not advocating the elimination of Special Education. He is showing why you can't just compare the budget costs and cost per kid ratios in public schools vs private schools.

Part of the problem is, LKB hasn't really made a point. Just an inflammatory title with a link to a few articles. It certainly starts a discussion, but his point is unclear, which is why people are up in arms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listened to an interview with a very senior, very experienced administrator and he basically said the very same thing. According to him, most administrators agree that keeping Special Needs children in the current system is eventually going to bankrupt the entire public education system but none have the backbone to make the case. His point seemed to be that if you take the Special Needs children out of the system and create special schools that specialize in Special Needs Education, it would be much cheaper.

I thought is was a very interesting interview. Very thought provoking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the problem is, LKB hasn't really made a point. Just an inflammatory title with a link to a few articles. It certainly starts a discussion, but his point is unclear, which is why people are up in arms.

I made a point. You can't discuss public school budgets without talking about the 20 to 25 percent (and rising) that is being spent on special ed. So you can talk salaries, unions, vouchers all you want. It does not matter until you address the real meat of the budget.

It's kind of like people obsessing on pork when discussing the federal budget and not talking about the 70 percent or so that is defense, SSI, and Medicare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...