Rising special ed cases are huge cost to Minnesota schools

  • Article by: Jeffrey Meitrodt and Kim McGuire , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 3, 2013 - 6:13 AM

Room 112 is walled off from the rest of a Maplewood public school by an ugly row of concrete blocks.

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wplettfanMar. 2, 1310:45 PM

Hopefully, the cost of this comes as a shock to those of you who always complain "how much is enough?"

johnmplsMar. 3, 1312:18 AM

It doesn't matter whether it's funded locally, by the state, OR BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Any way it's funded, we all pay for it. We have to quit thinking that Federal Government money comes to us free. No where in this article did anyone address what the goals for these students is: Living on their own? Getting a HS education? Being self-sufficient?

rafannonMar. 3, 1312:19 AM

The republicans that have run this state for years have stolen money from the school districts and the children of this state. The class rooms are way too big and the law requires that physical and mental disabled children be educated and helped. The average homeowner in these districts get the bill for these students instead of the State of MN helping out. THIS is WRONG...Gov Dayton is trying to raise more money so that the school districts can get the money back that was stolen from them by the republicans. So dont get angry at Gov Dayton when your taxes go up.. Let him raise the rates on the rich in this state or this nation and let them pay instead of buying another mansion or another boat/car or vacation. The education of children is very important.

just6larMar. 3, 1312:22 AM

As a classroom teacher, I love that this story is being told. We are sacrificing the education of 90%+ of our kids to cover the bottom 10% who cost 5x more than regular students. It's not only finances. I have to customize lessons, meet with special education teachers, attend meetings, document behaviors, and communicate with parents for this small percentage of students. Those time-consuming things all take away from what I can deliver to the other 90%. Less enriching lessons. Less grading/student feedback. Less parent communications. I love the guy who said this was a "good investment". We spend over $100,000 on many of these kids, whom many just drop out in high school anyways. And since when did schools become hospitals? We treat kids who can't walk, speak, or feed themselves in my 6-8 middle school! School is no place for those students. We are not doctors, nurses, or physical therapists. This is from a middle school science teacher.

mblaineMar. 3, 13 1:47 AM

We should be splurging on the GIFTED kids.

th3171Mar. 3, 13 2:07 AM

It's just sad. I worked for several years with children with these challenges. The feds and their unfunded mandates made me leave the profession. Unfortunately, fund it or move our country back a 100+ years, or every school's funding will be weighted toward the kids with special needs at the expense of everything else.

janelle3Mar. 3, 13 3:24 AM

Maybe these intermediate schools designed for special ed students should be funded entirely by the state. I know the mainstreaming advocates would not like this, fearing that districts would send kids there just to save money. But many of these kids will never be able to be in regular classrooms. There could be a rule that only the most severely disabled kids could be sent there. I know all children, including mentally disabled childern, deserve an education but I don't think it's fair that districts have to cut the programs for all the other kids to pay over 100k to educate one.

BABloomMar. 3, 13 3:59 AM

These "rising Special Ed cases" are children. Even though the costs of their education may be high, they and their families bear even bigger burdens than do their school districts' budgets.Rather than grousing about increasing costs we could direct resources into prevention, early help, and family support to protect Minnesota's human capital in addition to its budgets.

comment229Mar. 3, 13 4:53 AM

wplettfan: add to that a law that says we are going to give these families a voucher to attend any private school they want, and then see what happens after that... It is where the voucher people run into a reality problem and have no answers for it AND further, there are several other funding errors in our schools as well, that private schools don't have to deal with. To all the voucher proponents, you need to print this article out and read it whenever you get that urge to comment. And yes, we would love to hear your solution to this and that should start by asking McConnell and Boehner.

comment229Mar. 3, 13 4:55 AM

In Minnesota schools, if you have a disruptive student in the class and wish to remove him/her, you need to provide special services as mentioned in this article. Plan B is to send him/her to a special school perhaps transporting that student miles away to that school, with the parents consent. Want to guess who pays for everything? I wait to hear plan C.....


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