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The True Costs of Special Education

University of Arkansas professor and blogger Jay P. Greene takes a Wall Street Journal reporter to task on a story she wrote about the cost of private placements in special education in this blog entry:

As I've pointed out before, the trick to writing an article blaming special education is to mention a high cost for educating certain special education students (or even a high-sounding aggregate figure) without putting in perspective how much money that is relative to the entire school budget. ...

If private school tuition really is a "burden" as the title asserts, the cost of private-placement should be a significant portion of the New York City school budget. It isn't. If you look at the NYC education budget, you see that schools spent a total of $17.9 billion in 2009. The total cost of private placement is only $116 million, which is about .6 percent of total spending. This is close to a rounding error for NYC.

This is a good reminder that numbers don't always tell the whole story. Context is everything.

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Recent Comments

  • sdc teach: I agree with the previous post regarding the high cost read more
  • Jason: That alert is from 2001. Is there anything more recent read more
  • Vikki Mahaffy: I worked as a special education teacher for 18 years read more
  • paulina rickards: As it relates to this research I am in total read more
  • Anonymous: Fully fund the RTI process. We are providing special education read more