ERIC Number: ED416634
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
What Are We Spending on Special Education in the U.S.?
Chambers, Jay G.; Parrish, Thomas B.; Lieberman, Joanne C.; Wolman, Jean M.
CSEF Brief, n8 Feb 1998
This brief summarizes data from a 1994-95 survey of the states on special education expenditures in the U.S. and analyzes other extant cost data that adjust for inflation and consider rising special education enrollments. The study estimates that the 1995-96 national expenditure for special education was about $32.6 billion (compared to $19.3 billion in 1987-88), the increase being primarily due to continued rising special education enrollments. The survey found considerable variability in expenditures per student among the 24 reporting states (from $2,758 in Indiana to $8,509 in Connecticut). Half of the surveyed states were unable to report the statewide cost of their special education programs and only 13 reported a high degree of confidence in their responses. Additionally, the relative shares of federal, state, and local expenditures were found to vary enormously by state. A table details special education expenditures of the 24 reporting states. A second table compares results of using alternative ways of estimating expenditures on special education and other special needs programs. These take into account such factors as the percentage of children with special needs, the ratio of expenditure on each special needs program to regular education, and marginal expenditure (i.e., excess over regular education) per child by program. The paper concludes that more uniform, refined data are required for accurate estimates of special education expenditures. (DB)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA. Center for Special Education Finance.