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PA: Schools see 12% rise in emotionally disturbed, 34% in ASD, 47% in other issues

Oct 19, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pa. educators say more money needed as the number of special education students rises https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2019/10/19/Pennsylvania-special-education-spending-funding-number-students-increase/stories/201910200022 Educators say that the number of students with special needs has increased in Pennsylvania, and so has the need for funding…. Special education has changed since the first funding formula was created, and more children need services, panelists said at a recent meeting in Lancaster County. “Statewide data shows that we have seen a 12 percent increase of students with emotional disturbances, a 34 percent increase in students with autism and a 47 percent increase in students with other health impairments,” said Michele Reichard-Huff, director of early childhood and student services for the Berks County Intermediate Unit. Special education students often need services that include speech therapy, behavioral therapy, an individual aide for each student and transportation services, the Commission was told. Theresa Kreider, director of special services for the Penn Manor School District in Lancaster County, outlined the costs for three special students that ranged from $105,718 annually to $18,420. … “We need to look at how can we get more funding into education in general so we can also get funding for special education and gifted,”Ms. Fedor told the panel. Other panelists agreed that more money was needed. …