ERIC Number: ED389121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jun-27
Reference Count: N/A
A Resource Paper on the Relative Cost of Special Education.
Osher, Trina; And Others
This resource paper describes two recent studies and one report on special education costs and the methodology used in their analyses. Each study and its data source are summarized with a short discussion on the quality of the data and its usefulness and limitations in generating reliable cost estimates for special education. The paper summarizes information from the following three sources: (1) the examination of special education costs presented in the "12th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Education of the Handicapped Act," U.S. Department of Education (1990); (2) "Special Education: Views from America's Cities" prepared by the Council of the Great City Schools (1988); and (3) "Patterns in Special Education Delivery and Cost" prepared by Decision Resources Corporation (1988). A section on terminology and definitions is followed by a section which looks at each of the three sources for cost determination. A concluding discussion notes that the three reports draw different conclusions. A table compares results of the three studies for the 1985-86 school year. The paper stresses that distinguishing between the concepts of "total cost" versus "excess cost" is central to the correct use and interpretation of a cost ratio estimate. The Decision Resources Corporation report is seen as yielding the most accurate cost estimates and ratios. This study estimates "excess costs" incurred by the student with disabilities as ranging from 0.9 to 9.6 times the average per pupil expenditure, depending upon the student's special education program. The diversity of local conditions is seen as making any system for evaluating special education costs difficult. (DB)
Descriptors: Compliance (Legal), Costs, Data Analysis, Data Collection, Delivery Systems, Disabilities, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, National Surveys, Program Costs, Special Education
National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc., 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 320, King Street Station 1, Alexandria, VA 22314 ($7.95).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Alexandria, VA.
Note: Prepared by Project FORUM.