Monday, March 4, 2013

MN Special Education Tsunami?

The Star Tribune had an interesting article on Sunday.  It explained one of the root causes as to why the Public School system is so expensive.  So:
  • What is causing this increase?
  • Should some of these kids really be in school?
  • If not, where should they be?
  • Should "Privates" be forced to take more of these kids?
  • Other?

Star Tribune Rising Special Ed Costs
Star Tribune Cost Graphics
G2A Why Pay More?
G2A Blame vs Contributions
G2A Weakening of America?
Wiki Causes of Autism
Wiki Emotional Disorders


Anonymous said...

I would like my child to have a classroom with 4 other students and a teacher with special training. It is what she needs to maximize her potential. That's all I will say.

John said...

I think many parents would appreciate incredibly low student teacher ratios. Yet much of the public education money is spent on the few...

My well behaved non-special ed kids get about $7,500/yr in funding, whereas apparently a special ed child can get up to $150,000/yr in funding.

Fair or not?

R-Five said...

The whole point of Special Ed was supposed to be mainstreaming, to avoid stigmatizing students (or was it the parents?) in separate facilities. But this has devolved into separate areas within the many buildings, making quality both difficult and expensive. "Sometimes the old ways are best?"

But that's about as far as we mortals can take the argument, given how these costs are buried in tedious, anything but transparent reporting.

Anonymous said...

This article troubled me a lot.

For a kid with dyslexia or a mild disability, I think it absolutely makes sense to provide high quality special ed as a boost to keep that child working with their peers. But when a child is so profoundly disabled (nonverbal, extremely low IQ, deeply mentally ill, violent) that they require a full time para, a dedicated time out room, individual transportation, PT, OT--well, I just can't begin to justify that in my mind. Our schools endure deep cuts in every area, but must provide a federally-mandated bottomless pit of funds for the disabled kids?

Those extremely low-functioning kids deserve a safe, stimulating space, but being incapable of academic growth in any sense of the word--it needs to be considered a medical/human services function so the schools can focus on actual education.

That said, I can't imagine there's a politician in any party who would be able to propose that kind of change.


Anonymous said...

"My well behaved non-special ed kids get about $7,500/yr in funding, whereas apparently a special ed child can get up to $150,000/yr in funding."

I was considering the numbers as well, John. If $7,500 is the average, I suspect there are plenty of kids who are well below average, cost-wise. Your girls probably fall in that category.


Anonymous said...

What is the total Ed budget in MN? My rough guess is that the total Spec Ed budget growth does not justify the growth in the overall Ed budget, that this is another of those "spend more money to get poorer results" ploys from the Ed establishment.

J. Ewing

John said...

Hi Annie,
The $7,500 was the "low cost" kid in my old estimate. (G2A Why Pay More?

The average was ~$11,000.

Anonymous said...

I should note here that the state has a responsibility to provide special education services to private schools.


Anonymous said...

Hiram--how does that work, generally? Are the kids bused to a nearby public for special services? Or are paras provided to the private?


John said...

Below are some links that are too detailed for me. At a high level, I think the special ed funding flows down from the state to the district in which the student resides. Then the Public District works with the Private school to provide the extra services.

In reality though, I get the feeling that often the Parents move the child back to public because the Private or Charter just doesn't have the necessary services readily available.

I mean District 287 & 281 just built the North Education Center. No private can even compete with that, even if the funding passes through District 281.

MN Special Ed Laws
Individualized Ed Program