Calif schools face rising special education costs

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Special education class

Special education class (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state report on special education in California has found that school districts are shouldering an increasing share of the cost of educating students with disabilities.

The report released Thursday by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office says state and federal funds for special education have remained flat while the costs of educating children with disabilities has risen, leaving school districts to pay the difference.

The report says in 2005, districts assumed 32 percent of their special education costs. In 2011, that figure had risen to 39 percent.

The report also notes that many students with disabilities struggle academically. Only 11 percent of California schools met federal benchmarks for English language arts and math proficiency in 2011.

California provides special services to 686,000 children, 10 percent of public school enrollment.

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