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Colorado: poor rating for special ed services

According to the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, there were 67,529,839 students age 6 to 12 in the United States in 2012. Of that number, 5,693,441, or 8.4 percent, of students received services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.In the fall of 2012, 80.9 percent of the total amount of students who received IDEA services spent 40 percent or more of their time in a regular classroom.In 2006, Colorado created a tiered system for state funding of education, according to the website The system specified how much funding the state would provide for each student with a disability, known as Tier A. A higher dollar amount was allotted for students with eight specific disabilities, known as Tier B. Those ìhigh costî students were allotted an additional pool of funds to pay for their educational services.According to the website, in 2012, a Colorado trial court found the following:

  • The funding system developed in 2006 was based on available funding, as opposed to the actual costs of serving kids with disabilities.
  • The amount of funding for special education in the state is insufficient.
  • Colorado identifies and serves fewer students with disabilities than almost any other state in the United States.
  • Out of all the states, plus the District of Columbia; Colorado ranks No. 51 for its financial contribution to special education.
  • In 2000, the Colorado Department of education contracted with an outside organization to conduct a study on special education funding; the study identified eight areas of failure in the system, all of which had not been resolved.
The CDEís 2014 Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee Report found the following:
  • The dollar amount allotted to Tier A students ñ- $1,250 per identified special education student ñ- remains unchanged since 2006.
  • Tier B funding allows for up to $6,000 per student in supplemental funding for eligible students; in 2013, the actual Tier B funding was $1,971 per student, or 32.8 percent of the proposed amount.

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