Students who had more severe, and thus more expensive, disabilities were less likely to attend an Arizona charter school than a traditional public school in the 2002-03 school year, according to a study in the February edition of Education Policy Analysis Archives.
The study found that the average special education student attending a traditional public school cost the district almost $3,000 more than his or her charter school counterpart.
Traditional public schools enrolled a disproportionate share of students with a speech impairment or a severe disability compared to charters, according to the report, by Anthony M. Garcy of the Center for Health Equity Studies at Stockholm University/Karolinska Institute.
Researchers could not determine whether parents of such children chose traditional public schools because they offered appropriate services or because of enrollment barriers that existed at charter schools.
A version of this article appeared in the April 20, 2011 edition of Education Week as Special Education