California: School enrollment declining; "...students with disabilities has been increasing"

Aug 10, 2017, Voice of San Diego: When it Comes to Special Education in California Schools, ‘Funding Is Very Unequal’ Special education costs are increasing across the state. State funds for special education are inequitably distributed, so sometimes the districts with the highest needs are getting less money per student than districts with lower needs. In 2014-2015, Poway Unified’s general fund contribution to special education was 54 percent of total special education expenditures, according to the report. In 2015-2016, that number rose to 57 percent and was projected at 60 percent in 2016-17. … Last year, a San Diego Unified report found that the amount the district needed to kick into special education rose by more than $49 million between 2012 and 2016, because of reductions in federal and state funding and increased special education costs. … In order to discourage districts from inflating the numbers of students with disabilities in order to get more funding, the funding formula uses overall student enrollment in districts to determine how much each will get. The formula also takes into account cost-of-living adjustments each year. While the cost of living has increased, overall enrollment in public schools in California has been decreasing, meaning that the amount of special education funding going to localities has been growing slowly. Statewide, the number of students with disabilities has been increasing.