Special Education Costs Rise For Minnesota Schools
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The rising cost of special education in Minnesota is contributing to a dispute over emergency funding for schools during the last full week of the legislative session.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that districts spent $2.2 billion on special education last year, up 26 percent in a decade.
More than 141,000 students receive services for things like physical impairments, learning disabilities and behavioral issues. About 16% of Minnesota students received services last year, an increase of 1.3 percentage points in a decade.
Schools complain that the state mandates certain costs without covering them. Districts are billed for special education students who live in the area, even if they attend a charter school or go to another school district.
Some districts have begun sharing resources and services in an attempt to reduce costs.