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Baltimore: "Roughly a quarter" of the school budget goes to SPED

May 4, 2018, Baltimore Sun: Special education costs take up large chunk of Baltimore's school budget http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/investigations/bs-md-ci-special-education-budget-20180430-story.html Baltimore’s school system is once again set to spend roughly a quarter of its $1.3 billion budget on special education services. This year’s proposed budget, which the school board is scheduled to vote on May 8, allocates more than $278 million for a variety of special education services — about the same as last year. Most of it pays for staff positions to educate about 12,000 students in special education programs. The programs serve about 15 percent of the district’s student population. Budget consultants said last year that the disproportionate amount of money spent on special education contributed to a $130 million deficit last year. … As one way to drive down the cost, the district is working to ensure it is not over-identifying students who require special services, said Debra Brooks, the district’s executive director of special education. …