State funding for students with disabilities is becoming increasingly important as service costs rise and the federal share of the cost drops.

While all states provide some funding for students with disabilities, the way funds are distributed to districts varies greatly from state to state. This 50-state review, along with a related database, focuses on states’ primary funding mechanisms for students with disabilities. The report also clarifies strengths and weaknesses of these mechanisms and provides other funding considerations.

Since students with disabilities require additional resources to meet their educational needs, many states have moved toward complex financing with several components or streams of revenue. These sophisticated methods of finance are important; however, this report focuses only on states’ primary funding mechanisms.

Some important takeaways from this report:

  • Thirty three states fund students with disabilities through their state’s primary funding formula.
  • Twelve states fund students with disabilities through categorical funds.
  • Five states fund students with disabilities through reimbursements.

Tweet this ECS report!

  • New 50-state review from @edcomission explores states’ primary funding mechanisms for students w/ disabilities: bit.ly/1FmU1pO
  • 13% of students receive special ed services & state spending for these students is rising. Read @edcomission report: bit.ly/1FmU1pO
  • 33 states & D.C. provide money for students w/ disabilities through primary funding formula. Other approaches here: bit.ly/1FmU1pO

Related ECS resources that you’ll find useful:

For questions, contact ECS Director of Communications Amy Skinner at askinner@ecs.org or (303) 299. 3609. 


 PUBLISHED: June 23, 2015

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