How Does Your State Rank In Special Needs Education Funding?

How does your state rank when it comes to funding for students with special needs?

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures public funding for students with disabilities in the US. In order for public schools to receive funding for special education, they must serve all children with disabilities between ages 3 and 21. Funding is mostly based on three factors: as a baseline, a state receives the same funding the state received in 1999. The rest of the funding is measured by population — the number of students served by IDEA — and the number of students with disabilities living at the poverty line (the Federal Poverty Line for a family of 4 in 2017 is $24,600). In 2015, the DOE spent $12.5 billion on special education funding. Check out our map to get an idea of how much federal funding your state receives per student. We were unable to include information for Wyoming because data for the state’s IDEA funding was unavailable. Louisiana receives the most funding per student (ND, MT, TX, AL, AK, HI follow — $2,000 or more spent per student). Oklahoma receives the least funding per student (PA, UT, NV, AZ, IN follow — $1,700 or less spent per student). More information on IDEA funding.

How do you think states can improve resources for students with disabilities?

Options for students with disabilities in public schools vary widely from state to state, and even school to school, depending on a school’s resources and philosophy. Some students are placed in separate classrooms for the entire school year or a portion of the year, while other schools practice “inclusion.” Inclusion means that a student with disabilities takes class in a typical classroom with extra assistance from specialists. Because of these variances, some school districts allow children with special needs to choose their own schools based on their preferences and learning styles. If a school lacks the resources to provide for students with disabilities, parents may choose to place their child in a special needs school, or they may even choose to homeschool their child.

See the map below to learn where your state ranks.

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