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Special Education Vouchers: Four State Approaches - The number of voucher programs for students both with and without disabilities has grown significantly over the past several years. Florida’s special education voucher program was first implemented in 1999; programs in the other three states included in this analysis all began within the past three years; and legislation has recently been introduced in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia in support of special education voucher programs. Most if not all voucher programs have been instituted as part of a growing choice movement throughout the United States. Although these programs have created educational options for parents and students, there is a lack of public accountability under either NCLB or IDEA for students participating in states’ special education voucher programs and data remain unavailable as to whether or not students participating in voucher programs are receiving appropriate services and/or performing competitively with their public school peers. (Eve Muller and Eileen Ahearn, Project Forum, April 2007)...

The Special Education Expenditure Project (SEEP): Synthesis of Findings and Policy Implications - This brief synthesizes the SEEP findings 23 different surveys used to collect data for the 1999-2000 school year at the state, district, school, teacher and student level. The synthesis provides insight into some of the details of special education provisions across the nation. Reflecting detailed service descriptions for over 10,000 special education students, it provides knowledge well beyond what was previously known regarding the exact mix of services that students with varying primary categories of disability receive in varying types of districts and in some cases across individual states. Beyond descriptive data, SEEP provides a wealth of information for informing future special education policy. (Thomas Parrish and Phil Esra, Project Forum at NASDSE, April 2006) ...

Effects of Funding Incentives on Special Education Enrollment - This report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research examines the effect of state funding systems and high-stakes testing on special education enrollment. From the 1991-92 to the 2000-01 school year, 33 states and the District of Columbia had funding systems that create financial incentives to place children in special education, according to this report. (Jay P. Greene, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, December 2002)...

What Are We Spending on Special Education Services in the United States, 1999-2000? - The cost to educate students with disabilities represented over 21% of the 1999-2000 spending on all elementary and secondary education services in the nation, according to this report by the Special Education Expenditure Project. The report also estimates that educating the average special education student cost 1.9 times what it cost to educate students with no special needs. (Jay G. Chambers, Tom Parrish, Jenifer J. Harr, Special Education Expenditures Project, U.S. Department of Education, March 2002)...

Medicaid Managed Care: States’ Safeguards for Children with Special Needs Vary Significantly MS Word - This report presents data on the extent to which states are enrolling children with special needs in Medicaid managed care plans, and assesses the scope and effectiveness of the safeguards states are implementing to ensure that children with special needs receive appropriate care within Medicaid managed care. (United States General Accounting Office, Report to Congressional Requesters, GAO/HEHS-00-169, September 2000)...

IDEA Full Funding Act of 2000 - Senate Bill 2341 would require the federal government to pay 40% of the average per-pupil expenditure for each student covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1997. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that this piece of legislation would cost $5.7 billion in 2001 and $19.2 billion by 2010. When IDEA was reauthorized in 1997, one of the goals was for the federal government to cover 40% of all the new cost associated with the act. The federal government has never met that goal and it is estimated that they currently cover only 7% of the cost. (CBO, September 2000) ...

Medicaid in Schools: Improper Payments Demand Improvements in HCFA Oversight - In 1999-2000, the General Accounting Office (GAO) surveyed how states and school districts apply for, and appropriate, federal Medicaid funds and found that Medicaid dollars often were not going to the places providing the services. Some states were keeping between 50-85% of Medicaid dollars meant for the schools or districts that provided health services to needy children. In addition, some districts were paying a fee to third parties who helped them apply for Medicaid funds, further reducing the district’s share, sometimes to as little as $7.50 for every $100 they billed to Medicaid. The GAO recommended changes in the way that schools bill to get more dollars flowing to the districts and schools providing the services. (General Accounting Office, April 2000)...

Making Money Matter: Financing America’s Schools - The National Research Council gathered together experts on all facets of education to deal with some of the major issues in education finance today. The chapter devoted to special education financing contains some of the most up-to-date information and statistics. Although the paper’s conclusions do not touch on special education financing directly, they do address it indirectly. The final conclusions are: reduce funding inequities and inadequacies; invest more resources (either new or reallocated from other uses) in developing capacity; alter incentives to make performance count (within the existing governance structure); and empower schools and parents to make decisions about the use of public funds. (National Research Council, 1999)...

State Special Education Finance Systems, 1994-95 - This paper summarizes a survey looking at special education financing formulas. It contains an excellent description of the different funding formulas, as well as state formulas for the 1994-95 school year. (Thomas B. Parrish, Fran O’Reilly, Ixtlac E. Duenas and Jean Wolman, Center for Special Education Finance, Palo Alto, California, June 1997)...

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