Special Education

Special Education

January 08, 2003 2 min read

‘Bounty’ of Funds?

A new study links the rise in special education enrollment to the funding systems used by a majority of states.

Those states distribute special education money to school districts based on the number of special education students. Such arrangements, dubbed “bounty” systems by the report’s authors, create a financial enticement for schools to identify more and more students as needing special education, argues the report by the Manhattan Institute, a New York City-based think tank.

The authors compared the rates of growth in the special education population in those states with the rates of growth in states where districts receive a lump sum of special education money regardless of enrollment of such students.

A disproportionately higher growth rate of special education enrollment, the authors say, occurred in the past decade in states with “bounty” systems.

Special education enrollment nationwide grew from 10.6 percent of all students to 12.3 percent between 1991- 92 and 2000-01. During that time, special education enrollment grew from 10.6 percent to 12.6 percent in the 33 states (and the District of Columbia) that had bounty systems at that time. The enrollment level in the states with lump- sum systems grew from 10.5 percent to 11.5 percent.

The belief that simply giving more money to special education boosts the number of students thus designated is not new. But some advocates for special education have said that theory fails to consider more complex reasons. And, they argue, no incentive exists to incorrectly designate students for special education. Because special-needs students cost school districts big money, the thinking goes, any additional aid secured through an increased roster of special education students would go right back to the education of those students.

Two Republican leaders of the House Education and the Workforce Committee said Congress would make sure more money for special education was tied to reform.

The report “underscores the need for Congress to focus not simply on pumping money into the special education system, but also on how this money is used on behalf of children with special needs,” said the statement released by Reps. John A. Boehner of Ohio, the chairman of the committee, and Michael N. Castle of Delaware, who chairs the subcommittee on education reform. “Results, not just funding, must be our focus in renewing the [Indivduals with Disabilities Education Act].”

Congress is scheduled to take up the IDEA this year.

—Lisa Fine Goldstein

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Special Education Whitepaper
A Comprehensive Guide to the IEP Process
Download this guide to learn strategies for bringing together all stakeholders to plan an IEP that addresses the whole child; using relia...
Content provided by n2y
Special Education What Biden's Pick for Ed. Secretary Discussed With Disability Rights Advocates
Advocates for students with disabilities want Biden to address discipline and the effects of COVID-19 on special education.
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, look on.
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, left, look on.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Special Education Schools Struggled to Serve Students With Disabilities, English-Learners During Shutdowns
The needs of students with IEPs and English-language learners were not often met after the pandemic struck, says a federal report.
3 min read
Young boy wearing a mask shown sheltering at home looking out a window with a stuffed animal.
Getty
Special Education How Will Schools Pay for Compensatory Services for Special Ed. Students?
States’ efforts so far suggest there won’t be enough money to go around for all the learning losses of students with disabilities from COVID-19 school shutdowns.
8 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
iStock/Getty