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SCV school special ed funding could be at risk

Posted: January 4, 2013 6:06 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2013 6:06 p.m.

School districts are taking an increased role in providing funding for students with disabilities as state and federal support remains stagnant, according to a state report released Thursday.

The report, released through the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, found that many districts statewide are being forced to use money from their general fund to backfill programs that used to be funded through other sources.

The result of redistributing general funds is simple — less money overall for school districts, said Lynn David, the assistant superintendent of business services for the Sulphur Springs School District.

“General fund contributions ultimately reduce the amount of funding available for other programs and services,” David said.

Statewide, school districts have seen their share of total special education costs go from 32 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2011, according to the Legislative Analyst’s report.

The report states the share paid by schools could become even higher now as federal stimulus funds have been largely exhausted.

The average cost of educating a child with disabilities is $22,300 a year, more than twice the $9,600 in average annual costs to educate a child without disabilities.

About 686,000 California students, roughly 10 percent of all students enrolled in state public schools, receive some sort of special education service.

The report comes days before California Gov. Jerry Brown is set to unveil his budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins June 1.

It is unknown whether Brown’s budget will affect state special education funding.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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