NEW CASTLE —
Special education shortfall costing you
Statewide, 15.2 percent of students are eligible for special education.
Schools receive special education funding based on the assumption that 16 percent of the population qualifies for services.
In Lawrence County, that figure ranges from a low of 9 percent to a high of 18.6.
As a result, there is an estimated total shortfall in Lawrence County of $3 million a year between the amount provided by the state for special education and the cost.
Those figures have been calculated using data from a study on special education costs commissioned by the General Assembly and data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education.
Following are the percentage of students in Lawrence County who are provided special education services and each district’s estimated cost above the amount provided by the state:
•Ellwood City — 12.3 percent; $483,000
•Laurel — 9 percent; $101,000
•Mohawk — 10.9 percent; $442,000
•Neshannock — 11 percent; $130,000
•New Castle — 17.5 percent; $217,000
•Shenango — 13.5 percent; $180,000
•Union — 16.9 percent; $510,000
•Wilmington — 18.6 percent; $1 million.