Increases in special-education costs in Pennsylvania are far outpacing increases in the state’s contributions to those expenses, leaving local school districts to pick up bigger shares of the tabs, according to a report released Tuesday.
While state aid for special education increased by $72 million between 2008 and 2016, district special-education costs grew by $1.54 billion, according to the report by the Education Law Center and PA Schools Work. For every additional $1 provided by the state, school districts allocated $20, the report said.
“Despite recent state investments, the state’s special education funding is becoming more inadequate and inequitable,” said Reynelle Brown Staley, policy attorney for the law center. “There is simply not enough money coming from the state in either the basic-education or special-education line items.”