Our partners at Indiana Public Media have this report on special education funding.
The average cost to educate a student is $10,000. That total goes up to $15,000 to educate someone with severe disabilities. With the state decreasing base level funds, schools are looking at ways to cut costs. Special needs programs could be dramatically affected.
Director of Education Policy Terry Spraudlin at CEEP, says overall school corporations will gain $90 million next year because of changes in the funding formula. However, that doesn’t come close to restoring cuts made last year when districts saw their budgets slashed by $600 million.
Funds are going to have to be redistributed and Spradlin says there’s no perfect solution. “When we talk about Special Education funding, those students receive supplemental funding. There’s additional funding in the formula for those students,” he said. “The ongoing political debate– how much is enough?”
The school funding formula will add 1-percent to school budgets in 2012 and 1.5-percent in 2013. This comes on the heels of nearly four years of steady funding cuts.