top of page

Bradford, PA: As SPED costs soar by billions, state funding decreases

Oct 27, 2018, Bradford (PA) Era: Officials: Special education funding not keeping pace with needs A couple of superintendents with local school districts weighed in on a recent study that reports state special education funding in Pennsylvania is not keeping pace with local needs. The report, titled “Shortchanging Children with Disabilities: State Underfunding of Special Education in Pennsylvania,” was the result of a study by the state Education Law Center through its “advocacy for parents and caregivers whose children fail to receive services and supports that are needed and are legally entitled to receive.” … It found that special education funding in Pennsylvania “has been growing far more slowly than expenditures, effectively shifting more of the responsibility for funding special education to local school districts.” … The report noted that total school district spending on special education in Pennsylvania grew by $1.54 billion over an eight-year period ending in 2017, but state aid for special education during that same period grew by only $72 million. School districts have to come up with nearly $20 for every state dollar provided for special education in order to cover the expenditure increases, the report added. … ‘The funding for special education has never covered the costs of the mandates” in the district, Pude remarked. “I think that as special education numbers increase in some school districts, they are feeling the financial pressure more and are being more vocal.” …

bottom of page