March 12, 2018

Special Education Funding is a Morass; Straightening It Out May Not Be Cheap or Easy

California legislators have confirmed what several high-profile reports and nearly anyone involved with students with disabilities have been saying for years about the state’s system of paying for special education: It’s insufficient, inefficient and inequitable.

But while succeeding in drawing attention to what’s wrong, a three-hour joint hearing last week of the Senate and Assembly education committees provided little assurance that the Legislature would find additional money — amid competing priorities — or exactly the right fix this year. After all, when they created the current approach 20 years ago, lawmakers thought they had the solution — only to be shown, over time, that they didn’t.

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