With special education costs skyrocketing across the state, a number of local school districts are picking up a larger share of their expenses than others, writes Avi Wolfman-Arent for WHYY.
As costs increase significantly faster than state aid, taxpayers in local communities are the ones footing most of the bill. Ten years ago, districts covered 62.1 percent of all special education costs with the state covering 32.3 percent. Two years ago, the local share had gone up to 71.5 percent, while the state’s decreased to 23 percent.
“If anything, the issues with special education funding have actually grown worse over time,” said Reynelle Brown Staley, a policy attorney at the Education Law Center.
Out of 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, 34 cover more than 80 percent of their special education expenses.
Among them are Great Valley at 88 percent and Phoenixville at 86 percent. In Delaware County, Haverford at 86 percent and Radnor at 85 percent are bearing the overwhelming majority of their special education expenses.
Read more about the rising cost of special education from WHYY here.