Ensuring State Funds Reach Students in Special Education Programs
Students with disabilities comprise nearly 12 percent of the California K–12 population, and more than $12 billion in state, federal, and local funds is spent each year to provide special education and related services.
To help state-level decision-makers improve the special education funding system, WestEd conducted a two-part study which provides considerations for changes to state special education funding policy that are focused on creating a more effective funding system — a system that provides the right funding to the right agencies so that they can provide the right services to the right students. Both parts of the study also supplement broader state efforts to gather data and evidence to realign funding to the needs of students with disabilities.
Learn about the study and find evidence-based considerations for how California might adapt the current funding formula to advance state priorities.
This report details the current special education funding system in California, its history, and the role of the state and intermediaries in the distribution and use of those resources.
This report examines findings from a multi-stage, independent study analyzing comprehensive amounts of statewide student-level data from the 2016/17, 2017/18 school years. Leveraging proven research methods in school finance, this study surfaces findings of California’s system for special education funding and offers evidence-based considerations to help inform state-level decision-making and improve equitable outcomes for students with disabilities.
For more information about this study, email us at info@WestEd.org.