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Old 12-02-2011, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Beverly, Mass
940 posts, read 1,566,442 times
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The recent education budget report in MA concluded that schools are underfunded yearly by $2 billion, the costs, which they cover themselves by cutting regular expenses, in order to provide for the rising special education costs, because of a faulty outdated formula, that assumes lower sped student numbers:

"Over the last decade, for example, the number of students in Massachusetts identified with autism has risen from 603 in 1998 to 10,834 in 2009."

I would imagine the proportion would be similar in other states. So if it increased more than tenfold in ten years, what is going to happen in the next ten years?
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,881,813 times
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Well I guess they'll have to cut back on academic education and funnel all their money to special ed.
Special mandates certain requirements and they will have to cut elsewhere to fund those mandates.

Such a huge increase. I wonder if anyone has done studies.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:10 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Well I guess they'll have to cut back on academic education and funnel all their money to special ed.
Special mandates certain requirements and they will have to cut elsewhere to fund those mandates.

Such a huge increase. I wonder if anyone has done studies.
It's already happening....
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:15 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,106 posts, read 39,170,046 times
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Which is why, when people ***** that "teachers make too much money" that they need to dig into what is actually driving the per pupil cost.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Maryland
48 posts, read 66,896 times
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The link shows that $1.1 billion of those costs are due to active and retiree school employee health care costs. The remainder of that understated cost is for special ed - $1 billion.

Quote:
There has been considerable discussion of the rising cost to cities and towns of health and retirement benefits, but conflating these two masks the fact that employee retirement contributions are actually very small when compared to health contributions. Since teacher pensions are funded almost entirely through mandatory employee contributions, only 16 percent of spending on fringe benefits goes towards employer retirement contributions.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:31 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenshoes View Post
The link shows that $1.1 billion of those costs are due to active and retiree school employee health care costs. The remainder of that understated cost is for special ed - $1 billion.
Not really, it is health insurance and "other" meaning benefits in general, which, for any company that offers benefits is their #2 cost behind employee pay, that is not unusual. Health care costs are up for EVERYONE.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Maryland
48 posts, read 66,896 times
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You're right - I forgot to include "other". Whatever "other" is, it still adds up to $1.1 billion when combined with "healthcare costs". That fact does not negate the point that special ed, in fact, does not cost the entire $2.1 billion. Whatever "healthcare and other" is comprised of, it cost an unanticipated $1.1 billion. $1 billion, not $2.1 billion as the original poster stated, went to special ed.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:33 AM
 
701 posts, read 1,478,663 times
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SpEd costs. Whether we provide it or not, it costs. We either support students in learning to be independent, self-supporting adults. Or we support them the rest of their lives through lower productivity and increased need for services and disability benefits.

I wish all students could receive the services that students with disabilities are entitled to by law--an Individual Educational Plan reviewed and updated at least annually, specially trained teachers, resource classrooms with fewer students, support in selecting and pursuing a suitable vocation...

This all costs, of course, and SpEd services are being cut all across the country.

Years ago, I listened to a German professor express his dismay with the American educational system. He was referring to the system as a whole, not just the SpEd portion. He said that Germany simply did not have the resources to support so many adults who were practically unemployable.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Well I guess they'll have to cut back on academic education and funnel all their money to special ed.
Special education and "academic education" are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:59 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatRoy1 View Post
SpEd costs. Whether we provide it or not, it costs. We either support students in learning to be independent, self-supporting adults. Or we support them the rest of their lives through lower productivity and increased need for services and disability benefits.

I wish all students could receive the services that students with disabilities are entitled to by law--an Individual Educational Plan reviewed and updated at least annually, specially trained teachers, resource classrooms with fewer students, support in selecting and pursuing a suitable vocation...

This all costs, of course, and SpEd services are being cut all across the country.

Years ago, I listened to a German professor express his dismay with the American educational system. He was referring to the system as a whole, not just the SpEd portion. He said that Germany simply did not have the resources to support so many adults who were practically unemployable.
The point isn't that special ed kids need extra help--talking about the servery disabled who eat up a LARGE portion of the special ed costs for a relatively small number of students--the problem lies in that when these mandates came from the federal government that SCHOOLS must provide these services, yes, services, not education, the federal government was to absorb the costs, the very HIGH costs of these programs. That never happened. Schools now absorb about 99% of these costs. Since the general public doesn't understand school funding, they automatically assume schools are wasting money and that their "administrators" are the cause so requests for enough funding fall on deaf ears.

Schools should not be providing these services. These should be handled under separate budgets so the rest of the school population doesn't suffer. It isn't right that one student should take up 75% of a budget while the other student gets what's left over after the school pays it's electric bills...

The current funding situation is holding kids back that will be productive members of society. When cuts come to the general funds, programs are cut that help the average and above average kids to achieve THEIR full potential. Until we recognize this, our schools are going to continue to "decline" in relation to the rest of the developed world, who do NOT educate all students. Special ed budgets can not be cut, federal mandates state that once you have a program in place, you cannot dissolve that program or offer "less" to students. Look at your own district budget, compare the special ed costs per pupil vs the per pupil costs for the general ed...see the discrepancy?

Germany stops compulsory education after our grade 9 equivalent and their special ed kids do not have individual bus pick up, one-on-one teachers along with several aids for kids that will never be able to walk, talk, or feed themselves. He can be as dismayed as he wants, as long as he compares apples to apples.
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