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Do US schools spend too much money on special education programs?

  • Yes, considering that handicap people are less likely to contribute to society.

    As the handicap and children with learning disabilities are less likely to be successful in life and/or contribute to society, spending huge sums of money on special education programs is just a waste of money. In addition, a lot of handicap people (such as those suffering from Spina Bifida and Down Syndrome) generally live short lives, so investing in their education is like burning money.

    Posted by: FeIBuddy
  • Two teachers for 3 children. It happens.

    I see it every day and it sickens me. That money should be spent on accelerated programs for the real gifted students. We are competing with
    the world. We don't have money to have teachers baby sitting children who at best when they are 18 they might be able to tell blue from green.

  • There's no point educating those who cannot learn

    We spend 11.98B dollars per year educating those who will never become productive members of society. If parents want to pay to send their disabled kids to school then they can do that but we should not as a country send those who cannot learn to school. This is pointless.

  • Stealing from the future achievers

    When most of the funding goes to kids who will have a minimal chance of success in higher education and you are taking from those who will be real contributing members of society, there is something wrong. It is no wonder that the US is lagging behind in science...High standards are claimed but high quality education is not possible with soaring class sizes and one size fits all. Train the slow kids how to do meaningful work that they will need in order to hold a job and give a quality college-bound program to those who actually have the intelligence to do so.

  • The Silent Majority Needs More

    While the ADA of 1990 was a great achievement for human rights in the U.S. And I supported it, now as a parent of regular kids in public school, I am aware of how big their classrooms are compared to the sometimes one-on-one attention kids with disabilities are getting. It is just a question of balance and we are currently,due to our laws, out of balance. Districts are afraid of getting sued if they don't comply and offer expensive accommodations for kids with disabilities. Apparently parents of regular kids can't sue if they raise the class size to 35 kids to 1 teacher. We need to have an honest conversation about what is a good spending ratio for kids with special needs in comparison to other kids. I'm thinking $2 to $1 limit on the special needs.

  • Why this country is falling apart...

    I am currently working in a public school where 20% of our students are considered "Special Ed." While only a handful have severe disabilities, the school provides personal aides for the majority of these kids. They get FAR more resources than the regular ed or gifted students. I think most people voting NO have never truly seen the day to day routines of a school from the inside. It's saddening to watch my school try to "bring the bottom up" and celebrate mediocracy while ignoring exceptional students. Some of these severely disabled children need to learn basic life skills in an outside facility. Public schools should not be expected to provide all of these pricy accommodations for only one part of the student population. Like another user mentioned, most of these students are not going to be productive members of society no matter how much school assistance they receive.

  • Way too much

    Without a doubt. Those that are saying no have never been in a school and seen the amount of time and money spent on a single child with a severe disability. It is ridiculous. I'm not talking about students with just a learning disability, I'm talking about severely disabled children who are "entitled" to a free appropriate public education. The problem is "appropriate". We spend a ton more on these students to give them their "appropriate" education - most with their own full-time SPED Aide to walk or push them around all day. Our school is almost to the point where there are more Special Ed Aids and teachers than there are regular ed teachers. How is this helping the other 95 percent of the students?

  • There is no return on investment.

    The average school right now is crippled with debt. They can't afford textbooks, sports teams, teachers, computers. At my school we have 20 year old textbooks for kids. They are falling apart and almost unusable, our computers are from 1998, are sports teams and school clubs cost a ton of money to join, our classes have over 30 kids each in them.
    The kids in special education have a 1 to 7 student teacher ratio, they have special buses, they have craft supplies, they have special format books.
    Per special ed kid we are spending far more then a normal ed kid.
    Ultimately there is not enough money to go around and funds need to be cut somewhere. Instead of cutting funds to the regular students, students that will be the future work force, the future of America we should be cutting funds for the special ed kids. Kids that even after considerable investment will still barely be able to function in society.
    Educating special ed kids is a complete waste of money.

  • $36000 a year is spent on special education program.

    I am a regular education teacher that has a district that averages $9500 spent on the average student. There is a program at our high school that spends $36,000 a year for students ninth grade through AGE 22!!! To teach them how to work. They could spend 8 years in this program for a total of $288,000 per student. Now tell me that would not be better spent on general education students who graduate at age 18 with a total of $38,000 spent on them over 4 years. And they wonder why I get upset when denied a $700 request to cover all 144 students I teach.

  • They spend way too much

    The kids in special ed cost almost three times as much as other normal kids. This is just ridiculous. For the really disabled kids this special ed stuff is basically glorified day care. Just send them to a real day care for a tenth of the cost. The amount that some of these kids cost to educate is just as much as a normal person's job makes. This is a ridiculous amount of money.

  • NO!

    Special needs students are just as capable of learning as any other person. Handicapped or not, how would you feel if your child was disabled and someone had sid "oh, theres no hope for that child..just push it aside" By not giving special needs an opportunity thats what you are doing.

  • The question itself is deflecting.

    Public education is woefully underfunded overall. Asking whether special education programs are overfunded is deflecting and clearly indicitive of partisan think-tank propaganda. All questions put forth in a public forum must be carefully scrutinized to separate the wheat from the chaff so-to-speak. I personally was in both the gifted and the special education programs during my K-12 career. The reasons are likely clear if you've read this far.

  • No, they are spending too little!

    I am a gifted student who used to participate in all sorts of competitions and other excursions which challenged me and helped me to reach my potential. Now, my school receives no funding for our gifted program, thus almost all competitions have been closed and we do not receive any transportation for any of our events. This is not fair to us students.

  • Everyone deserves the so-called American Dream

    First of all, the funding of programs in general are lacking. The ones of you who are saying that people with disabilities do not contribute to society sound very much like the Nazis when they were testing and torturing little children with disabilities. Believe it or not, a twelve year old boy with autism expanded on a discovery made by Einstein. That is more than you are doing with your lives. Everyone deserves a chance to get education. Some of them will take time but it is our responsibility to make sure that they are educated enough to feel proud about themselves as a person, in general.

  • No, schools are using the funds to pay attorney fees!

    No, because the money does not go to special education services. It goes to the legal counsel the districts pay for to ensure the children do not receive services. Whenever the education agencies brag or complain about all the money they spend into special education, let me assure you, they hire expensive attorney's to set up barriers to prevent parents from advocating for their special need child. The schools put money into attorney's instead of investing it into the children they claim to be providing an education to. If parents can afford an attorney and prevail (usually they do because finding a violation is like putting your hand in a fish bowl), then the case is settled, and the parents accept compensation money for the development time which was lost due to the LEA lack of intervention or misdiagnosis. This is no longer made public if they settle out of court and the violations the school made are not made known, (The district likes it that way). You should demand as a taxpayer to know how much money your school district pays attorney fees. Some of them are on an open retainer. Parents just want their special need child to receive services so they can be successful in life and the law gives them the right, however many do not receive it. Why do the districts need to treat parents as if they are doing something criminal? Why the intimidation? Money is your answer. The district would rather build new schools than spend it on the children and the attorney is the gatekeeper to prevent this from happening. So the yes or no question is rhetorical because it assumes that the money is going to the right place, and it is not.

  • Not Enough is spent.

    The only reason that there are any comments at all in the YES column is because they are made by people that DO NOT have a TOTAL CARE Special Needs child. I have a 13 year old daughter that is TOTAL CARE but loves the social activity of going to school. Unfortunately at the moment she is unable to go because there doesn't seem to be enough money to provide proper care for my child during the school day. I not only speak for my daughter but also the other students with severe handicaps that place them in the special needs classes.

  • Tell that to Hawking and Einstein

    Some of history's greatest contributors would have been placed in special education today... Greatness often comes with some sort of handicap. Many children in Special Ed go on to contribute academically and/or socially. To deny that is to ignore reality... One need only look at Einstein and Hawking as examples of that.

  • They do not use ENOUGH money for special education.

    There need to be more programs for our children. All the other kids get the "no child left behind" act, what about our children? They also deserve a good education and a chance to be what they want to be. Our children deserve to get the education they deserve with teachers who know how to take care of them and teach them. Not stick them in the back of a public classroom not being able to learn to their ability.

  • No

    Teachers are forced to push a child forward regardless if they are comprehending the material or not. There is a state standard to pass and that's all that matters. Special education classes are given more materials to help them learn. They need this! This helps them grow mentally and emotionally.

  • More Money for Special Education

    Regardless of whether or not a person has a disability, they deserve the same chance to an education. It's sickening to see that some claim that this money is a waste! Although these students may be at a disadvantage, they should receive the same opportunities. Students who require special education could definitely go on to contribute to society.


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