Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recent state changes might lower per pupil special education spending in Westchester County

In December, the New York State Board of Regents approved a special education cost-containment proposal from the state Department of Education that allows for some changes in special education services.
There are two provisions that worry parents the most. One would allow a school to increase the maximum number of special education students in an integrated class from 12 to 14, under certain circumstances.
The other provision repeals the requirement that a school provide a minimum of two 30-minute language or speech therapy session a week. Instead, the “frequency, duration and location of each service shall be in the IEP [individual education plan], based on the individual student’s need for the service,” according to the amended rules.
Many parents believe these amendments represent a “slippery slope” that will lead to more changes in services.
The Bronxville-Eastchester Patch reports that our local school's special education per student costs are $49,770, highest among all the schools listed.  However, our school attracts special ed students from other districts who pay tuition for the services provided.  Information provided by the Assistant Superintendent of Business explained that the actual cost is $38,817, which seems to be in the middle of the pack for the list.

Local School
Special Ed
Instructional Expenditures
Instructional Exp. Per Pupil

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